“Baggage Claim”

On August 19, Pastor Katy preaches on Luke 10:1-9.

1 After this the Lord appointed 70 others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. 2 He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. 3 Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves. 4 Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and greet no one on the road. 5 Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house!’ 6 And if anyone is there who shares in peace, your peace will rest on that person; but if not, it will return to you. 7 Remain in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide, for the laborer deserves to be paid. Do not move about from house to house. 8 Whenever you enter a town and its people welcome you, eat what is set before you; 9 cure the sick who are there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’”

Jesus sends out 70 followers with some rather strange instructions. “Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and greet no one on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house!’” It sounds like a bad reality TV show where the players have to survive in hostile territory with no provisions. Rather than taking something material to offer a host, they are to remain in whichever house receives them, to eat their food and drink whatever they provide. What could be the harm in having just a bit of money for a rainy day or an extra tunic in case you get muddy? Maybe Jesus’ point is that it’s hard to fully rely on someone else, especially a stranger. It forces us to let go of our preferences and creature comforts and to trust in God’s provision in a whole new way. This Sunday we will bless the backpacks of our children and school teachers and workers as a way of blessing the journey ahead during this school year. What provisions do we carry with us every day, and what could we learn from Jesus’ 70 about letting go of some of our own baggage?