Thursday, February 5, 2015

“Pride must die in you, or nothing of heaven can live in you.”

“As long as you are proud you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on thing and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down you cannot see something that is above you.” - ― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Gospel text: (MK 6:7-13)
Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two
and gave them authority over unclean spirits.
He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick
–no food, no sack, no money in their belts.
They were, however, to wear sandals but not a second tunic.
He said to them,
“Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave from there.
Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you,
leave there and shake the dust off your feet
in testimony against them.”
So they went off and preached repentance.
The Twelve drove out many demons,
and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.

"Shake the dust off your feet." I began to think of all the times I was sure that I had the answer to someone else's problems. When I was positive that if they would only listen to me, the world would be a better place, both for them and the rest of us. And how I wanted to rail against them when they didn't listen. How I wanted to hold them up as examples of what not to do when approached with the truth. How I wanted them to know what a great deal they were missing.

Now, my assumption is that the disciples were the real deal. The gospel reports that they drove out demons and cured the sick. But what were Jesus' instructions to them as to what to do when they encountered someone that didn't listen to them? It wasn't to yell louder. It wasn't to go get the other disciples and browbeat them into submission. It was to just quietly leave and shake the dust from their shoes. Simply let those who would not listen be. Perhaps the time wasn't ripe for them to listen. Perhaps they would listen to the next pair of disciples. Perhaps... well, perhaps this just wasn't these disciples' work to do.

My prayer today is that I recognize when God is telling me, "this is not your work to do." I pray that I can carry the humility that Jesus taught when He said, "Shake the dust from your sandals and move on."

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