Reflections on Luke 9

Duccio_di_Buoninsegna_The_sending_of_the_Twelve_400The Process

  • Read and Ponder each passage.
  • Write the words that leap out to you.
  • Meet the challenge to write a prayer using all the words you selected.
  • Then select a phrase or sentence from the passage that grabs your attention.
  • Write several personal I BELIEVE statements about each passage.

The Words that leap out at you:

power & authority, take nothing, you give, who do YOU say I am?, hand on the plow

The Prayer

Light of the World, you send your disciples into the world, telling us to take nothing beyond what you have given us. You send us with power and authority, called to proclaim the Good News of your kingdom, and to be agents of healing to those in need. You have sent us to tell others who we KNOW you are — the Anointed One, Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer. You call us to move forward, always looking to the next city, the next miracle, the next healing, urging us to keep our hands to the plow and not look back on what we’ve left behind. But far too often, we don’t really believe your words. Far too often, we fail to proclaim your healing. Far too often, we don’t bring forth healing. Far too often, we look back with longing, like the Hebrews wanting to return to Egypt. Forgive us O Lord, when we are a “faithless and crooked generation,” and don’t give up on us, for in our repentance we commit ourselves again to the the path you have set before us.

A phrase or sentence that grabs your attention

3 He told them, “Take nothing for the journey—no walking stick, no bag, no bread, no money, not even an extra shirt.

I’m always struck by how little Jesus offers the disciples for their journey to proclaim God’s kingdom and bring forth healing. These it seems like we are hard pressed to send folks out to share God’s love and Word without going through some sort of special training, offering some sort of special resource, or even requiring formal theological education. Modern American Christianity has created an entire industry focused on outreach and evangelism tools — from tracts to special edition Bibles.

But for the first 12 they were sent with nothing beyond what they had on their back. It seems like Jesus understood that these external factors have the possibility of getting in the way of our proclamation and healing. What Jesus wants is for his disciples to share what they have in their hearts. Sharing our faith isn’t hard — it just involves being sharing with someone else the authentic message of what Christ has done for us. Yes, there is a call for those set apart for particular ministry, but disciples of Jesus Christ — which is ALL of us — are still sent to proclaim and heal. We do this with the resources God has given each of us — love, compassion, empathy, caring, grace, and peace. We really don’t need skills and techniques, for God has gifted us with all we need.

Belief Statements

  • I believe that Jesus is sending me with all I need to proclaim the message of God’s Kingdom and bring forth healing in the world.
  • I believe that Jesus is serious when he tells his disciples “You give them something to eat.”
  • I believe that the we we gain our lives is by losing them; that the call to “take up our crosses” was not a guideline but a calling.
  • I believe that whenever we are looking backward, we are failing to move forward into the grace and beauty of God’s Kingdom.