And he called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal. And he said to them, “Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not have two tunics. And whatever house you enter, stay there, and from there depart. And wherever they do not receive you, when you leave that town shake off the dust from your feet as a testimony against them.” And they departed and went through the villages, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere. Luke 9:1-6
My husband went to the post offices to pick up several of our boxes which have arrived. Since we are only here for 18 months, we sent only the essentials like clothes and papers we needed. We tried to pare down to the minimum, not burdening ourselves with items we do not need. We do take great delight in discovering little treasures we sent from home like our handmade coffee cups and my swim fins. Folks have been very kind here, lending us items and sharing a desk and a bookcase for our time here. I am greatly moved my the generosity and blessing that we have received in welcome.
Jesus sent his disciples out two by two with very clear direction to take nothing for their journey and to be completely dependent on the welcome they received. He also told them to be harsh with those who were unwelcoming and who did not offer them shelter and food. There is no mention of them returning with clean feet, so I have to imagine they were well received and offered much kindness. They were traveling with love in their hearts and giving the people God's love, blessings and healing. They were bringing the gospel of God with us to the people, and carrying forgiveness from God with them. People are often generous in the face of abundant blessing. Some will turn away but most will be curious and acknowledge their own needs and desires. God invites us to go out with only God's blessing and to welcome those who carry the God's good news of love and healing for today.
A Prayer for Travelers
Dear loving Creator, be with those who go forth this day in love. May their hands be open, their hearts on fire with love and may they see family and friends where ever they go. May you surround them with peace and strength, so they do not get weary in the face of rejection and delays. May we who are travelers have eyes to see the face of God in everyone. May we make room for others as we have been made welcome. And may we carry our stories of hope and new life as we find home at journeys end. Amen.