Monday, October 14, 2013

Whosoever will may come....

Matthew 10:1  Then Jesus summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every disease and every sickness. 2  These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon, also known as Peter, and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; 3  Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; 4  Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed him. 5  These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: "Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, 6  but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7  As you go, proclaim the good news, 'The kingdom of heaven has come near.' 8  Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment. 9  Take no gold, or silver, or copper in your belts, 10  no bag for your journey, or two tunics, or sandals, or a staff; for laborers deserve their food. 11  Whatever town or village you enter, find out who in it is worthy, and stay there until you leave. 12  As you enter the house, greet it. 13  If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. 14  If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that house or town. 15  Truly I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.

Jesus collects a motley crew: Simon “quick with his knife” Peter, James and John the short-tempered “sons of thunder”, Philip of Greek extraction, the hard to convince Thomas, Matthew the government official, Simon the revolutionary freedom-fighter, and Judas the betrayer.

Here is the amazing thing about following Jesus – anyone and everyone is welcome to join the band of Jesus-followers. The good news is that this means that someone like me (or you) are welcome; the challenge is for us to welcome the strange, difficult, different and unique people that hang out with Jesus. 

“Whosoever heareth,” shout, shout the sound!
Spread the blessèd tidings all the world around;
Spread the joyful news wherever man is found;
“Whosoever will may come.”

“Whosoever will, whosoever will,”
Send the proclamation over vale and hill;
’Tis a loving Father, calls the wanderer home:
“Whosoever will, may come.”
     Words & Music: Phil­ip P. Bliss, 

Ordinary 29 / Pentecost +22
51 Servants of Christ
The Scripture passage for the day is drawn from Reuben Job and Norman Shawchuck, A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and other Servants, (Nashville, The Upper Room 1983), 311.
This reflection is from my own devotional exercises for the day.

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