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no bag: missional marks #2

June 25, 2017

yesterday I began looking at the list of things that Jesus asks his disciples to leave behind as they go out and share the good news that the Kingdom of God is on it’s way to change lives and communities.

Jesus asked his disciples to have a stance that is open and honest and while not afraid to speak out is vulnerable and refuses to defend itself.

The second item on the list is a bag! we automatically think of a bag packed and ready to take with everything we will need for a week in the sun, or on the mountains, or where ever! But, Jesus is just talking about a bag, like an empty bag – In these days where wee are charged for shopping bags we may be tempted to make sure we have a bag with us to take things home – and this is what Jesus is pointing us to.

In the three years that Jesus spends with his disciples we know they lived rough from time to time “the son of man has no place to lay his head”, and that they were forced to gather from the fields what they needed – as the poor in Israel were entitled to do. So what we see is Jesus saying don’t bring a bag for foraging, for collecting. Instead we are to accept hospitality, to allow ourselves to be a guest. That sounds great, but it means we need to adapt to whatever we are given, whether great food or short rations.

We need to learn to be a guest, to accept the gifts that are given by those in the community we come to with our good news. We need first to be in someone else’s debt, before we can draw others in by offering them hospitality. As we learn to be where other people are and to understand them, we slowly begin to share experiences and learn a language that we can use to share what we believe.

We also begin to know how to live generous lives without being patronising.



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