I’m still there. It feels like months in this text but is probably not even two weeks! But things are changing a little.
As I read it again, I’m no longer reading it in the same way. My historico-critical faculty is dulled (which. on some occasions and for some purposes, may well be good). Instead, I’m more ‘inside’ the text. Now surely you might think that after many years of education, I could be a little more precise than that. But I can’t. It’s just different.
I am ‘there’ somehow, in the hot sunshine, listening to Jesus sending 72 people out on a journey. And as I watch them, it strikes me that each pair has a different journey. Although each pair has essentially the same task, it is expressed in different highways and byways, different towns and different villages. We are the same.
www.freefoto.com Photographer: Ian Britton
And we can also be confident that wherever the disciples go – both places that reject them and those which welcome them with open arms – everywhere is a place to which those disciples have been ‘sent’. There are no blips on this journey; even the places which seem like a wasted trip are ordained for the ones who are sent. Jesus sends us both to the likely places and to the very very unlikely places.
How does that intersect with my life or yours? Are you walking through the places that welcome you with open arms right now or are you struggling in places which reject you? And are there any ways in which you could consider yourself to have been ‘sent’ even in those unlikely places which seem like a wasted stop-off point?