Week 23 Sunday

Traveling Light

Today’s scripture selection: Luke 9-10

Key Verse: Luke 9:3

When Jesus first sent His disciples out to do the work of God’s kingdom He did something that is almost shocking by today’s standards. He sent them out with nothing in hand. That is, nothing material.

He said, “Take nothing for the journey – no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra shirt.” They were to simply rely on others, and God, to provide for their needs while on their mission.

In today’s world where “being prepared” is a lot more than a Boy Scout motto, Jesus’ counsel seems foolish.

But, as they faithfully went about to “drive out demons” and “cure diseases” – apparently their needs were somehow more than provided for. And when they returned, they praised God, saying, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name” – amazing.

I wonder how many of us would have been willing to undertake such mammoth responsibilities without so much as a little pocket cash for emergencies.

It’s a great lesson in faith – and the limitless power of God.

They had little or no formal education; they were, at best, of the lower middle class; they weren’t priests or theologians; they were simple men and women – devoted to God and His kingdom – and that was more than enough.

Today, I wouldn’t try to argue that a little prudent preparation isn’t needed. I think savings accounts and retirement planning and insurance are good things. So are a steady income and a warm house in which to live.

But faith that God is the ultimate provider? That’s not just a good thing – it’s the key to a wonderfully powerful and fruitful life. So don’t be afraid to “travel light” now and then. Armed with faith and God’s loving presence – what more could you need?

Prayer: Father, help me to trust in your provision for the journey, wherever it leads. AMEN.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. “Elpis” is the Greek word for “expectant hope.” He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and a member of Spiritual Directors International. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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