“He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts.”
Jesus sends his followers on a journey in which the only things he advises them to take are the items integral to walking: a staff and some sandals. In this commission, he invites the disciples to place their trust in God rather than the security of an extra loaf of bread or a little extra spending money just in case. As the journey of life goes, we often acquire different “security blankets” upon which we place our trust and faith. Jesus is sending his disciples on a journey and instructing them to not bring their “security blankets” because God will be with them on the journey.
Along the journey, they would be welcomed into others’ homes. Jesus has to remind them before they go that this hospitality is Gospel hospitality. That is, they will have an opportunity to encounter God through the hospitality of their hosts, only if they leave their “security blankets" at home. Their movement would depend on hospitality. It would depend on God going before them on the journey to prepare the way.
God goes before us on our journeys. There are people along The Way who will provide for our physical and spiritual needs. However, if we are anxious about the journey, if we pack our “security blankets” for the journey, we may never experience God in this way. We may miss God on the journey. As we continue on our Lenten journey, what are your security blankets that you might need to leave behind? How have you seen God in others along your journey? How can you depend on God’s preparation more on your journey?
God, we confess that we have not fully trusted you on our journeys. We have filled our bags with bread, money, and creature comforts just in case. We pray that you would continue to go before us and guide us. Give us the comfort that you are with us. Give us the peace that you will be with us. Amen.