July 12, 2009

On the Journey...

First, I find it necessary to comment on a line from today's Gospel reading (Mark 6:7-13).
"Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave."
Despite knowing what Jesus means here, I still raise an eyebrow when I hear it. It almost sounds like a line from Lewis Carrol rather than St. Mark. Of course, Jesus means to stay until you leave at the house until you leave the town. At least, I hope that was His meaning, otherwise the apostles were even more in need of guidance than they seemed!

Aside from a chuckle, this line also offers us a reminder that Bible translations are just that - translations - and we need to be thoughtful readers.

On a more serious note, there are a number of Old Testament callbacks in the reading today.

Note that Jesus sends the apostles out two by two. Does this remind you of Noah loading the animals onto the ark? One brings in animals in twos to save the earth from a flood. One sends men out in twos to save the world from fire.

Also, they are sent with minimal equipment. Like Moses and the Israelites sent into the desert, they had little material and no food to help them on the journey. For both - those lost and those sent to seek the lost - God provided along the way. Whether it is manna from heaven or a meal from a new convert in town, God took care of His people's needs. Each day, He cares for our needs on the journey as well; He gives us this day our daily bread.

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