Take no gold, or silver, or copper in your belts, no bag for your journey, or two tunics, or sandals, or a staff; for laborers deserve their food.
In this week’s Gospel passage for our worship Jesus looks out upon the crowds in their need and sends out the disciples, to do for them the good works of the reign of God - Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons - and Jesus has prepared the disciples for this task. However, the disciples are explicitly forbidden from gathering any of the various necessities any traveling person would think to have on hand. Why? Well, as we look around us and the very weight of these momentous days and the challenges of responding not only faithfully but also effectively, I don’t know about you, but I take a whole lot of comfort in knowing that we have this loving community in which we can wrestle over these questions, concerns, fears and hopes.
I think perhaps that Jesus denies the disciples the security of traveling supplies because the work we are called to do - to create a more loving, engaging, inclusive, healthy community here on earth - we literally cannot do this without working together, relying upon each other, and by necessity, leaning on one another through agreement and disagreement. Loving someone must mean something more and greater than either agreement or service. It’s a reciprocal relationship - more than quid pro quo or market of exchange. It’s more. It has to be more.
And because of that, we also need to know that we are going to be involved with more than only addressing the troubles of today. We can’t do that all the time. No one can. We will still be a community that plays and prays with each other. We will continue to joke when we can, and live with joy together in the time God has given us, and these times can be part and parcel of our sabbath rest, which renews us for the work of making our living together more closely resemble the reign of God.
And so, even with all that is happening around us, you will continue to see fun events for this Prince of Peace community, and we sincerely hope as many of us as possible can take part, because when the fun times are over, there will be work to be done. We are going to do what we can to help grow and strengthen the reign of God here for us and our neighbors and it’s work we can only do together.
- Rev. Nate