After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go. And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. Go your way; behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. Carry no moneybag, no knapsack, no sandals, and greet no one on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house!’ And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest upon him. But if not, it will return to you. And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages. Do not go from house to house. Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you. Heal the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ But whenever you enter a town and they do not receive you, go into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near.’ I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town. Luke 10:1-12
On this journey, now in Fairbanks, I was noticing how hard it is for people to be peaceful in transit. In the airport in Anchorage, although it is a small, well laid out place, and not overcrowded at all, people still move with a restlessness, a frenetic and unsettled pace. How hard it is for those of us on the road to have peace.
Jesus is sending out the disciples and seventy-two others, two by two. We have no real record of these folks, but I imagine they were anxious and fearful as they set out. They took nothing with them, nothing to comfort them or remind them of home.Their instructions were devastatingly clear. They were to carry God's peace with them and to bless those who welcomed them and shake the dust off from those who would not welcome them. We humans usually go and seek peace especially when we are on a journey, but God is reminding us today that we carry God's peace with us. We carry God's abundance and blessing with us. Nothing more is required of us, no sacred visits or holy waters, no tokens or signs. God is with us and God's peace is with us always.
Today, I ask God to help me recognize that God's peace is within me and that I lack nothing but the courage to journey on. May we all be given the courage to journey on and share this day, for many are sent but many run to the hills in fear. May God's love banish all our fear and anxiety today and may we spread God's peace where ever we go.