Advent Reflections 2023: Day 4

4 December   Luke 10:1-9

This passage comes immediately after Jesus’ words to people who wish to follow him but for whom other things are taking precedence. His words are uncompromising. The choice is to be for him or against him.

Seventy-two disciples are then sent on their way to herald his visits to the surrounding towns. The instructions not to take bags or to greet anyone on the road reflect the urgency of this task. Nothing must slow them down or get in the way. The same applies to the hospitality that is offered. They must accept what is given, without scruples as to preparation or quality. There is no time to go from house to house looking for something better.

We may question this urgency: after all, it is 2,000 years later, and we are still looking for the Kingdom of God to break in with power in many places and situations. But the call and the challenge are clear. What is getting in the way of our following Jesus? Is it fear of the opinions of others? Or our desire to achieve success? Are we holding onto anger which we could let go of with God’s help? Is it time? Are we too busy coping with the pressures of daily living? Or is it something else?

This passage challenges us to look at those things that get in the way, obstacles which need to be moved. Realistically we cannot change everything all at once, but Jesus offers his peace to us as we start to dismantle the barriers that stand in the way of our discipleship. With God’s help we can follow.

Sue Rowe

Loving God,

Show us today what is getting in the way,

Obscuring our vision of your life and love.

Help us to let go of our burdens and concerns.

Help us to see you more clearly and follow you more closely,

Today and every day. Amen.