Sunday, September 11, 2011

Take nothing for your journey

Luke 9:1-6 NASB

And He called the twelve together, and gave them power and authority over all the demons and to heal diseases. And He sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to perform healing. And He said to them, "Take nothing for your journey, neither a staff, nor a bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not even have two tunics apiece. "Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that city. "And as for those who do not receive you, as you go out from that city, shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them." Departing, they  began  going throughout the villages, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.

My thoughts -

I was thinking the other day about all of the stuff that we think we need. I got the opportunity to play for a youth group that did not have anyone else available to lead worship that day. My wife was meeting with the youth pastor that morning about something else, he mentioned that music had fallen through for youth that evening, and she volunteered me to do it.

I was already at the office and youth was going to be that evening shortly after I got done with work. There was no real time to plan. There was no time to exchange much information with the youth pastor other than my willingness to lead worship with the youth that evening. It became clear to him that we wouldn't be able to have the Power Point slides or any multimedia elements for worship ready for what I was going to be leading. Heck, I didn't even know what I was going to be leading! And there would be no band and no singers breaking off into tightly arranged four part harmonies, either. All of the conventions we normally fall back on would not be available.

By the way, it turns out that it is still possible to lead worship like it's a campfire service. We just had my acoustic guitar and me singing. I sang their parts to the youth. They sang them back to me. We worshipped and prayed together. It was an awesome experience.

I was wondering yesterday, while shopping, what it would be like to both have everything that I own be able to fit into one backpack and (most importantly) to be okay with that. We are tied to our stuff and we're always looking for more. Life feels unfulfilling? This neat gadget is the thing that is missing from your life. Buy it now! That didn't work? I'm sure the next one will.

I love how Jesus sent his disciples out here. How many of us would be willing to go out like that; with nothing? We say all the time that the Lord will provide but I know at least that I trust the Lord in this matter only as far as my paycheck will let me.

Can we live with less? Can we trust God more? Can we be sent out into the world without all the trappings that we have come to depend on in this life and instead trust God to provide what we really need to do God's will?

I know I'm not there yet. And yet, every time I find myself with the need to live more simply I am amazed what it turns out I can live without.

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