Then Jesus called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal. He said to them, ‘Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money—not even an extra tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there, and leave from there. Wherever they do not welcome you, as you are leaving that town shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.’ They departed and went through the villages, bringing the good news and curing diseases everywhere.
Periodically, during the season of Advent, we look forward to what God will do by looking backward to what God has already done. In today's text, we hear of instructions that Jesus gives to his disciples as they go about doing the work that they are called to do.
Yesterday, we journeyed with Zechariah and learned that there is a time for silence. Today, we journey with Jesus and are reminded that there is a time for action. (NOTE: the two do not have to be mutually exclusive!).
Advent is a time to practice prayerful actions. The disciples were called to preach the gospel in word and in deed. A case can be made that the disciples' primary job (or, at least, the one they do the most) is the latter of the two. They go from village to village doing good deeds, healing the sick. Sometimes they are welcomed. Sometimes they are not. Regardless of the way they are received, they are called nevertheless to practice their faith with concrete acts of justice and reconciliation.
What concrete acts of justice and reconciliation is God calling you to embody this advent season? Maybe it's bringing a broken family together. Maybe it's volunteering at your local homeless shelter. Maybe it's not speaking to someone but, instead, listening with an intentional ear. Maybe it's just doing something kind to someone who looks like they could use it.
Whatever it is, know that God has commissioned you to do particular acts of goodness and grace.
Prayer of the Day:
God of Justice and Joy,
help me practice what I believe in the coming day.
Give me confidence to follow your Word into the world,
and to go where it leads.
Thank you for your son, Jesus Christ,
who teaches us to be attentive to the needs of the world. Amen.