Then Jesus 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. He said to them, "Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money - not even an extra tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there, and leave from there. Wherever they do not welcome you, as you are leaving that town shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them." They departed and went through the villages, bringing the good news and curing diseases everywhere. Now Herod the ruler heard about all that had taken place, and he was perplexed, because it was said by some that John had been raised from the dead, by some that Elijah had appeared, and by others that one of the ancient prophets had arisen. Herod said, "John I beheaded; but who is this about whom I hear such things?" And he tried to see him.
On their return the apostles told Jesus all they had done. He took them with him and withdrew privately to a city called Bethsaida. When the crowds found out about it, they followed him; and he welcomed them, and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed to be cured. The day was drawing to a close, and the twelve came to him and said, "Send the crowd away, so that they may go into the surrounding villages and countryside, to lodge and get provisions; for we are here in a deserted place." But he said to them, "You give them something to eat." They said, "We have no more than five loaves and two fish - unless we are to go and buy food for all these people." For there were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, "Make them sit down in groups of about fifty each." They did so and made them all sit down. And taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. And all ate and were filled. What was left over was gathered up, twelve baskets of broken pieces. Luke 9:1-17
There are times when it is hard to be on the road, to do ministry in multiple places. It is easy to loose track of belonging and one's bearings, as well as finding oneself longing for home and family. With each new invitation of ministry in my life has come the challenge of being on the move, traveling from place to place, being the visitor rather than the hostess. It offers a unique perspective, the perspective of a stranger. Will these people, in this place welcome me?
Jesus sent his disciples out to preach the good news and offer healing. They were enabled to do all he had done in their sight. He also recognized the impossibility of the assignment. People might chose to reject them, but go they must. And in any place, among any people where they went, if they welcomed them and welcomed the good news, God would dwell with them. For us today, God promises to go with us on our hardest journeys and to be with us where ever we welcome God's presence.
Today, I ask God to help me be a faithful disciple. May I go simply and offer what I can, knowing God is with us all. May we all take and share the blessings we have been given. There is enough for all with much left over. May we be the carriers of good news and abundance today.