Palimpsest: What We Carry

What We Carry

Luke 10:1-11, 16-20

"If God is this winter wheat
I wave and beckon
into the fields threshers
arriving to harvest our God
whose body will be broken
to become bread of life
for the bellies of her world
even as some of us
eat her bitter chaff
to fuel our souls."
-- Warren L. Molton, “If God Is This Winter Wheat”

The importance of packing light cannot be overemphasized, but, for your own good, I'll try. You'll never meet a traveler who, after five trips, brags, "Every year I pack heavier." The measure of a good traveler is how light she travels. You can't travel heavy, happy, and cheap. Pick two. Limit yourself to 20 pounds in a carry-on size bag. Too much luggage marks you as a typical tourist. It slams the back door shut. Serendipity suffers. Changing locations becomes a major operation. Con artists figure you're helpless. Porters are a problem only to those who need them. With one bag hanging on your back, you're mobile and in control. Take this advice seriously.— Rick Steves, www.ricksteves.com

Since Luke was a traveling companion of Paul, this training manual probably reflects actual church practice. Greet no one: Traveling salespeople can gab and put off knocking on doors all day. Carry no money or clothes: They are to be so utterly dependent that someone will have to take them in, and this will identify a genuinely compassionate person who can become the nucleus of converts there. Don't upgrade accommodations: Stay in one place so that the core leader gets maximum training. They are lambs in the midst of wolves: Precursors of the domination-free order of God (10:9,11), who bring a new kind of peace so palpable it can be bestowed or recalled from the host's house like dust. It is not the absence of violence but the presence of a powerful alternative. – www.sojo.net

The role of hospitality in the mission cannot be overstated. The hospitality of the seventy is shown in their mission of peace, in which they eschew all forms of exploitation, self-centeredness, and personal gain. Their single purpose is to prepare others to encounter Jesus. This is done peacefully, through grateful presence and conversation. The apostles must be relational and respectful in order to be invited into others’ homes, where they might share the gospel of the kingdom of God. Theirs is a vulnerable position, for they cannot force receptivity or hospitality on the part of others. The apostles must be willing to go without food, shelter, or welcome for the sake of the gospel. - Elaine Heath, Feasting on the Word

· How much luggage do you take when you travel? How hard is it to pare down what you take to fit into airline guidelines or car space?
· How do the items you travel with keep you from connecting with the people around you?
· Despite all we travel and live with, how can we move towards trusting God more and our things less in our faith life?

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