I have always prided myself on being prepared for anything that might happen.† My children often tease me that I have a scenario for anything that might occur no matter how unlikely.† But today Jesus sends out 70 of his followers telling them not to prepare in any way.† He even warns them that they are like lambs in the midst of wolves.†
Jesus says go on your way.† Offer your peace and if it is returned dwell there and enjoy the benefits of peace.† Proclaim the kingdom of God and immerse yourself in the healing that comes from living in the kingdom with peaceful people.† If it is not returned shake off the dust of the streets and move on.† Donít waste your life force fighting a losing battle.
My being over prepared has a very negative side effect in my life.† It is I think predicated on a basic mistrust of others.† It also causes me to always be thinking ahead and not living in the present.† When we donít live in the present we donít ever get the chance to become connected with others.† We canít learn and appreciate people that we donít experience and valuable others.† We donít seize the day.†
Jesus in saying like lambs among the wolves is reminding us that being truly human requires us to be vulnerable which is a big part of Jesus way.† It is easier than ever to live a solitary life even in the midst of being overcrowded with people.† I canít tell you how often I find myself looking at my cell phone and ignoring those I am with.† But I have found my phone to be an increasing barrer between me and the rest of the world.† I have trying to be more in the moment and open to experience others rather than always being mentally on the next thing or concentrating on something else that could surely wait.
If you canít carry a bag you meet others as their equal.† You donít concentrate on what you have but instead you live in the present and concentrate on what could be.
Jesus central message is Peace to this house.† Peace to your huse and peace to this house we share together our church.† Jesus peace is not like the worldís peace which is built on mutual fears and excluding people who are not like us.† Jesus peace includes all.† Jesus doesnít want us to be afraid any more.† When we have this kind of peace even when we are as vulnerable as lambs among wolves we are ok.
Now of course you didnít think you were going to get away with not hearing about the satan mentioned at the end of todayís gospel.†
Satan is the way that people come together and organize themselves over against Jesus way of peace.† The cross of Jesus exposes this trick of satan that makes us believe that someone else is always responsible for all our problems.† He hides from our eyes that we are always responsible for ourselves.
I watched satan fall from heaven like a flash of lightening.† What does that mean?† It means that by the power of Jesus faith that satan is no longer up there where we canít deal with it but it is now right here fallen to earth where we can deal with our own sin and tread on it like snakes and scorpions on the ground.
Unmasked as the human conspiracy to cloak violence satanís trick of dividing us against ourselves is exposed.† Now we are able to see that the worldís strife and alienation are because of the choices that we make to hate each other rather than to share Jesus way of forgiveness.
Just because satan has been exposed doesnít mean he is at the end of his power.† Now just because satan has been exposed doesnít mean he is at the end of its power.† We still like to find any excuse not to own our personal sin and guilt.† We love to hide behind popular opinion.† We think saying that I wasnít the only one is a valid excuse.† Since Jesus life, death and resurrection, the satanic mechanism has been exposed.† The flash of lightening has exposed the process but there are still many that donít realize that the source of the light is the Cross of Christ.
Jesus Kingdom of God is based on the power of forgiveness and freedom to reenter Godís vineyard.† It starts with the realization that I am wrong, I have sinned, I am responsible.† Without Jesus standing before us as risen with open arms we canít have the courage to face up to the fact that we are the satan, individually and collectively and that the only way back is by taking the outstretched hand of Jesus.
1. Why do people create a supernatural figure called satan instead of taking responsibility for their own sin.
2. How does the creation of a scapegoat create unity among people.
3. Why do we have to truly live in the present in order to enter the kingdom of God.