The sending out of the seventy-two is a beautiful model of sharing the love and life of Jesus with a neighborhood. Jesus equips his followers with some key guidelines. The first is freedom. He instructs them to go without the trappings of self-sufficiency. While to our ears it might be scary to head out without money or extra supplies, Jesus is preparing his followers to learn the discipline and rhythm of relying on God. Such reliance means the freedom to respond to unexpected opportunities.
The second guideline is peace. Jesus tells them that the giving and receiving of peace will be the sign to stay with a family. In this peace exchange is a mutuality that reminds us to look for God’s presence already at work in those we connect with.
And the third guideline is to be relational. Jesus tells his disciples to stay in one home, sharing life, eating together…. all the stuff of relationship. The good news of the Kingdom is shared by doing life together.
The Kingdom comes when we live in the freedom to respond to the Spirit’s prompting rather than our own self-sufficiency. It comes when we discern points of readiness through the giving and receiving of peace. And the Kingdom comes through building relationships where God’s healing power can flow through our bonds of love together.
How can your life be an expression of the Kingdom today? Where can you divest your self-sufficiency and live more fully in God’s freedom? How can you give and receive peace today? And how can you find space to nurture deep relationships as an expression of the life of God?
May your Kingdom come. We confess that we can be very focused on ourselves. Forgive us for our self-sufficiency. Equip us to live more freely, giving and receiving peace, and investing our time and energy in building relationships where goodness can flourish.
Through our friend Jesus we pray. Amen.