Dear Fathers, Friends in Christ,
Take nothing for the journey. (Luke 9:3)
“Be prepared.” That’s the motto for the Boy Scouts .
. Can’t you just picture a pack of young boys on a camping trip, loaded down with supplies, ready for whatever nature can throw at them?
While this may be good training for ten-year-olds, it isn’t always the best advice when it comes to living in the Spirit. Jesus offers an alternative vision to his disciples in today’s Gospel reading. As he sends them out to preach and heal, he says, “Take nothing for the journey.” Nothing! Then, in case they’re wondering, he spells it out: “Neither walking stick, nor sack, nor food, nor money, and let no one take a second tunic” (Luke 9:3). So much for the Boy Scouts!
Here’s what’s wrong with focusing too much on being prepared: we risk missing out on some of the work God has for us—and some of the blessings that come as a result. Maybe we are waiting until we feel close enough to someone to share our faith. Or maybe we are waiting until we have a large enough nest egg before we will donate to the Lord’s work. Whatever it is, Jesus wants us to think differently. He wants to make us confident in him. He wants us to know that we don’t have to be perfectly clear on every theological truth before we begin telling people how much Jesus loves them.
Think about the disciples Jesus sent out. They still had a lot to learn. Some of them were hoping for personal glory. Others were lacking in courage. One would go on to betray him! But Jesus sent them out anyway. Sure, they would make mistakes. But that’s how they would learn and grow. And while they were learning and growing, they would also do a lot of good.
What risk is the Lord calling you to take for his kingdom? Is there something that you have been waiting to do but just haven’t felt prepared for yet? Ask God if now is the time to go through that door. And then trust him to teach you as you go.
“Father, I am ready. Send me out, Lord! Give me the grace to trust you for all that I need.”
Father Ed Bakker
Anglican Catholic Church / Original Province
Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne