From the Pastor’s Desk: April-May 2018

The following post was taken from The April-May edition of The Canton Chronicle, Volume 2018, Issue #4. 

In our backyard are two crabapple trees. One has pink blooms and the other white. Usually I would contend that the one with pink blooms exudes more beauty. But this year was different. The one with white blooms was gorgeous to the point of being nearly radiant. Interestingly, though, the radiance was short-lived. On about Monday or Tuesday the blooms were at peak. By Saturday not a bloom was left on the tree. Beauty is fleeting.

In Matthew 10, Jesus calls the twelve disciples to him and then sends them out to heal the sick and provide release to those living with mental illness. “As you go,” he tells them, “proclaim this message: The kingdom of heaven is near.” And then Jesus instructs them, “Do not get any gold or silver or copper to take with you in your belts—no bag for the journey or extra shirt or sandals or a staff, for the worker is worth his keep.”

At first blush, it seems Jesus is implying that the needs of the disciples will be met if they faithfully carry out their work. However, considering the message about the kingdom of heaven being near adds another layer of understanding.

As modern-day disciples, what “luggage” do we carry with us that interferes with our view of the kingdom of heaven in our midst? What can we leave behind that will allow us to experience and enjoy the beauty of God among us?

Jesus’ direction to travel lightly is providing an opportunity for the disciples to be more aware of their surroundings than of being concerned with their possessions. Worrying about the luggage one haul’s around, especially if something happens to it, can direct one’s attention away from the kingdom of God that is at hand. Jesus is asking the disciples to leave their “stuff” at home so that they don’t miss the wonder of God in their midst. Not only is beauty fleeting, but so may be the kingdom of heaven.

As modern-day disciples, what “luggage” do we carry with us that interferes with our view of the kingdom of heaven in our midst? What can we leave behind that will allow us to experience and enjoy the beauty of God among us?

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