Remember to travel lightly

Published 9:02 am Friday, July 20, 2012

Across the Pastor’s Desk

By the Rev. Don Rose, United and Mansfield Lutheran churches

The scriptures tell us that when Jesus sent out his first disciples with the charge to share his message of the Kingdom with the world they were told to travel lightly. They were not to take everything but the kitchen sink.

Rather they were to take little as a sign of their interdependence with those whom they encountered. Unlike other itinerant teachers of the day who were encouraged to be self-sufficient and to rely upon no one, Jesus’ followers were to rely upon those whom they met.

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They were to share what was offered without expecting anything special for themselves. They were to see themselves as one with those with whom they shared God’s good news. Though not to be taken literally as instruction for these days which are completely different culturally and socially, there is perhaps a word for modern followers to hear and follow in these words as well.

Things of one sort or another are easy to accumulate. This phenomenon can be seen in the reality television programs that focus upon hoarders. In most cases the hoarding has come about because of an inability to cope with something quite traumatic in life.

The things become the only security that an individual has in the face of a very uncertain world. To hold on to things becomes the response to a world that seems determined to take things away. The culture encourages each individual to be independent, to have what is needed to be self-sufficient so one does not become a burden to another. In the process, sight is lost of that which gives life and nurtures the individual, i.e. relationships with God and with others.

To be reminded to travel lightly is to be reminded that God’s people are linked together because of the love of God as revealed in Jesus the Christ. Cooperation rather than competition is to be the watch word of the people of faith. Reminded that it is not our ministry but Christ’s ministry moves us from holding on to that which means little for the sake of sharing that which means everything with a world in need.

As you travel this summer and through life, consider traveling lightly as a child of God.