Advent Reflections 2023: Day 21

Luke 10:1-9

Whenever I plan an activity with a Church we usually start from the standpoint of money and resources. Will we have enough money and enough resources e.g.: people, space, time, and energy to make something happen? The strange thing is that this seems to be the opposite of the way that according to Luke, Jesus approaches mission.

The 72 are told to not take any resources – no purse, no spare clothes, no emergency food, not even sandals for their feet. Some commentators point out that when Moses meets God in the burning bush, he is told to take off his sandals because he stands on holy ground. The disciples are to take nothing that can form a barrier between them and the people and by implication they need to recognise that they will be walking on holy ground. So they must allow themselves to vulnerable, open to situation they encounter and rely completely on the people and the God whom they meet. Then together they will discover the healing and peace of the Kingdom of God.

The deepest, most meaningful Godly relationships are often created by not by self-reliance but by mutual need. A friend, Ida, spent much of her childhood in hospital. There she found the deepest friendship of her life, with a girl, Anne, who also had TB. Ida slowly got better, but Anne got worse and eventually died. It was in those days – vulnerable, fearing and facing the worst with Anne – that Ida found faith in God, who met them in their fear and vulnerability and gave them peace. Have we the courage to let ourselves be more vulnerable, recognising that wherever we go we walk on holy ground? That way, with our neighbours, we can discover the God who can transform our lives and our world.

Ken Stokes

Christ Jesus, I spend my life worrying about things you tell me not to worry about. I want to be safe and comfortable but you challenge me to be the opposite. Teach me to take the risk of vulnerability and openness so that I may both really meet other people and really know you and your healing peace.