Disciples on a Mission

This Gospel reading for this day is Luke 10:1-11, 16-20.

The sermon at Trinity Church today was not a typical address, but was a shared conversation about what this Gospel reading says to each of us.

In today’s Gospel Jesus is giving his disciples instructions for how they are to go out in mission, how they are to go out and share Good News. In many respects, these instructions are very specific to the conditions of 1st century Galilee, and not very relevant to us – “no purse, no bag, no sandals” isn’t a way we can literally travel today – and believe me, after lugging stuff through three airports between here and Utah, I kind of wish it were. In other respects, however, these instructions are immensely relevant to us, telling us in no uncertain terms that we should proclaim Peace wherever we go – and Peace is something our world needs and needs desperately.

Our job, as disciples on a mission in the 21st century, is to reflect on how Jesus’ mission instructions are relevant to us – specifically, particularly, personally relevant to us – so that we can then go out and actually do them. And the best way to figure out how these instructions speak to us is to share our reflections together, to hear from each other what they can mean – rather than me standing up here and telling you all just what I think about them.

So what do you make of this? You’ve heard the Gospel read. You have the text in front of you. As you ponder this Gospel, what speaks to you? What catches your attention? What makes you want to ask a question? What do you in particular hear Jesus saying to you in these words today?

The people of Trinity heard things like:

Proclaiming “Peace” to every house you enter, without worrying whether the people there “deserve” Peace or not, and trusting that Peace is a gift from God that has an active life of its own.

Being willing to go in mission without baggage, without getting bogged down in our own expectations of how the Gospel “should” be lived out in any given context. Instead, it is important to be willing to see how God will reveal new goodness in every new situation.

Rejoicing that our names are written in heaven, not because of anything we have done to earn or deserve it, but because Jesus has chosen us in love.

Not letting failure or the inability to make a connection with someone hold you back from the mission. When you are not able to share Good News, then wipe your feet and move on to the next new opportunity.

Proclaim “the Reign of God has come near to you.” The purpose of the mission is not just to talk about Jesus, but to act out the living and active presence of God in fellowship and healing, in right-relationship and well-being.

These are some things the people of Trinity heard. What do you hear in this Gospel today?