June 24 - Thoughts from Rev. Katherine
Thoughts from Rev. Katherine
Matthew 10:5-23 spoke to me today, especially because I will be preaching from Matthew 10 this Sunday. So, this can be a preparation for Sunday.
In this text, Jesus’ disciples are sent out to do Jesus’ ministry. They are to preach, heal the sick, exorcise demons, raise the dead, and cure the lepers. They are to carry out this mission wherever they are sent. They are to and we are to take comfort that Jesus not only sends but also equips those he sends to carry out his mission.
Then, it gets weird.
Jesus knows it won’t be a walk in the park (or shall I say, zoo?). In fact, he says you’re basically a sheep being sent out into wolves. In response to that, Jesus says to be as wise as serpents and innocent as doves. I think of this as benediction for an animal themed worship service, go out into the world to be vulnerable sheep, crafty serpents, and gentle doves.
Preaching Professor Thomas Long explains the civil rights moment in America and how Matthew 10:16 provided biblical wisdom for Christians who were encountering hostile and often violent resistance.
"One thinks of the nonviolent approach of the civil rights movement in the American South. Drawing upon the resources of the gospel, the movement, in terms of submitting to the violent actions of the hostile culture, was “innocent as doves,” but, in terms of being effective against the evil of segregation, the movement was “wise as serpents.”
Jesus knew that sharing the Good News wasn’t going to be an easy task. His followers were facing all sorts of persecution and roadblocks simply because they were representatives of Jesus. Painful experiences are expected. As we are in times of new beginnings and changes in our church, I know that they are full of painful experiences. I know that every decision made impacts so many people, on an intimate, spiritual level. I want to assure you, that you are equipped, God loves you, and when you face hurtles God is still with you.
[Thomas G. Long, Matthew, Westminster Bible Companion (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1997), 120.]
Daily Lectionary Readings:
Peace in Christ,