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no money

June 27, 2017

as we work through the list of things that Jesus tells his disciples NOT to take on mission – in Luke 9. We have looked at how Jesus wants us to have a stance that means we are honest and vulnerable, that we learn to give and receive generosity, listening to those we meet, and learning to watch out for what God is already doing around us.

Today we think about why Jesus tells the disciples not to carry a purse, or money. If we stop and think at all we soon realise that money is worthless. We can’t do anything with it other than exchange it for things that are more useful or beautiful. By forbidding us to take money Jesus is pointing us away from one of the most common mistakes that we fall into.

I need to be careful in how I say this because we live in a world where exchange is part of how we think and act, we take it so much for granted that it is difficult to see how we can live differently. But the Kingdom of God that was announced – the good news that we are entrusted with is about gift and not exchange. But our tendency is to treat people as commodities, to count the number of people who turn up to our meetings, who have made a decision to follow Jesus, to count the numbers rather than listen to the stories of individual people.

Or we see church as a commodity, demanding that it entertains us so we can justify giving our time and money to support it.

In listing money as something we must not carry Jesus points us towards real relationships marked by an economy of outrageous gift, rather than the exchange mindset that the world around us squeezes us into.

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