In the gospel reading for this week’s lectionary we find Jesus sending out the 70 (or is it 72?) to carry out the mission, and giving them authority such that they could walk on snakes and scorpions and emerge unscathed.
There is a catch: they are to travel light, to pronounce peace upon each household, and if they are rejected, they are to leave, shaking the dust of the town from their feet. Those are harsh words for modern-day ministry, and even just for living the Christian life together.
I’m thinking this week about the balance of authority and the dependence we all have on each other, and how this relates to those in the pew. Passages like this are often easily interpreted to be part of the ‘ministry manual’ for us church professionals, but what deep meaning is there for those who minister as members of the “priesthood of all believers”?
If this is not where the Spirit is leading you, how about the fun story of Naaman the leper who is asked to dip himself in the dirty old mud of the Jordan to be healed of his skin lesions? I remember preaching this text last time it was year C with the title “Getting Down and Dirty”. Miraculously, they did not ask me to leave on the spot! I think this is when they started to figure out my sense of humor.
What are you pondering this week?