Today’s readings (click below to open in new tab/window):
Psalms 54; 146, Micah 3:1-8, Revelation 7:9-17, Luke 10:1-16
As Jesus prepared to expand his ministry, he selected 70 disciples to travel in pairs to the places he planned to visit. Today we might call them street teams. Each pair traveled simply; they carried no purse, no sandals, and no bags. They kept to themselves until they reached a destination, then where they were welcomed they stayed to cure the sick and where they were rejected they left promptly. Either way, they let the place know the kingdom of God had come near. If we assume three successful stops per pair, that’s 105 towns along a route of approximately 3,100 miles. Quite a grueling tour schedule when it’s mostly on foot.
How do you suppose Jesus paired people up? He could matched people who were already friends, or maybe they were random assignments, and people had to figure out how to get along with each other on the journey. Assigning people with similar personalities could make things easier or more difficult, depending on the personality. People with complementary personality types or experiences, while surely having to overcome some initial conflict, might be able to bring different strengths: introverts and extroverts; rich and poor; somber and playful; intrepid and cautious; cut-to-the-chase and touchy-feely. Perhaps he used all these criteria and more to build the most effective pairs possible.
On our own Christian journeys, we will find ourselves working alongside all kinds of people. We will like, respect, and enjoy each of them to different degrees. When, by example or intent, they expose our weaknesses, we can embrace an opportunity for growth. When we see them stumble where we stride easily, we can offer a steadying hand. We can hold each other accountable for getting the job done, and for grace. God has drawn us together, and it’s our job to work it out so we can credibly tell people the kingdom of God draws near. How we treat each other is a defining feature of that witness.
We are one body in Christ. A body isn’t walking unless one foot is on the ground and another is in the air.
Comfort: You are an important part of someone else’s journey.
Challenge: Pick a trait of yours that you think could use improvement. Talk to someone who is strong in that area about ways to improve.
Prayer: Thank you, God, for the many people you who support and guide me on my journey. Amen.
Discussion: Without mentioning names, is there a person you don’t particularly like but do respect?
Join the discussion! If you enjoyed this post, feel free to join an extended discussion as part of the C+C Facebook group or follow @comf_and_chall on Twitter. You’ll have the opportunity to share your thoughts with some lovely people. Or feel free to comment here on WordPress, or even re-blog – the more the merrier!