Luke 9, 3-23
3. He told them: “Take nothing for the journey—no walking stick, no sack, nor food, no money, no second tunic"
A few months ago, I reflected upon this passage because it really spoke to me. I've been wanting to share it since I wrote it down on a piece of scrap paper, so finally I took the time to type it out.
Being on a mission means taking nothing with you.
"no walking stick"
In my life, the walking stick or staff is something, someone to lean on. Thus, to me, leaving the walking stick behind means having nothing to lean on. In other words, it's leaving behind emotional stability. For me this is the hardest one of all, because when you are home, you don't realize how much support and stability you have. People hold you up (emotionally) and it's really easy not to notice until you leave your "crutch" home and then you realize how much emotional support was given to you. Going out into mission means that you might leave your family far away, that you might go to a place where you don't know anyone, or where you don't know many. It's humbling and it's hard to take that step because being "on our own" is challenging. Sometimes we want to put our full support on people, when really we should be able to let God entirely support us and lift us up, or at least help us walk without the need of an extra "walking stick". I'm not saying it's wrong to lean on people, but that God is calling us not to lean our entire bodies and entire selves only on people.
Our sacks might be filled with little treasures, material things, and comfort. We leave the comfort of our homes to serve... We leave the familiarity we so much love... like coffee in the afternoons, our nap time, maybe our social media life, or texting...
This is our backup plan, things that sustain us other than God. Trusting on ourselves for our own providence and sustain.
In regards to money, I think money represents trusting on our own strength, our ability to receive an income. In mission, sometimes we might need to give up our income to be able to serve the Lord.
"no second tunic"
To me this represents our future plans, the things we will cover our lives with. Not bringing it with us is trusting God will provide. God will clothe us, God will protect us, spirit and body.
4, Living like Pilgrims
"whatever house you enter"
It is trusting your life in community. We don't enter into the homes of those who do not welcome us or who do not welcome Christ, for example in circles that reject Him. We want to lead a community of believers, we want to "shake the dust", the bad influences, but we still "testify" with our lives. We just chose not to enter in that life style of living as if God doesn't exist. We chose to "shake off" our bad habits, and live in the life and community God is calling us to live.
Mary and Joseph foreshadowed the life of mission at Jesus' birth, knocking on people's doors, asking them to let the Messiah in. We still proclaim the good news. We still knock on people's doors, not for us, but for Christ.
Later in the passage, Jesus tells his apostles to take up their cross daily (Lk 9, 23), but that first they must leave it all. So we have to trust in the Lord, in his providence, before we even start our way to Calvary. We cannot take up the cross if our hands are full.
So I've come to this conclusion, which comes back to verse 3: being on mission means taking nothing with you.