last week's lectionary gospel passage was Mark 6:1-13. reading vv. 6b-13 with my daily reflection from Disciplines, the writer observed an urgency in Jesus' sending of the disciples. Not because the end of the world is near, but because Jesus' message has been rejected and they're worried about how many people they will be able to convert to this message. The writer talks of an urgency in the face of countering evil in the world.
I wondered - if we go into the world seeing the world as evil, expecting to find evil, is that all we will find?
What if we saw in this sending of apostles the motivation we see in so much of Jesus' actions - relationships of healing, restoration, nurture, love? Can we then see in this sending an opportunity to love?
We are called to love - not to overcome evil (if there is evil to overcome, God will do that, and I suspect God does that by God's very being ... but that's another blog post probably).
We are sent as bearers of peace.
love and peace
If we go expecting to find partners in love and peace, perhaps we will find them, and the pressure is lifted to 'convert' anyone to any particular point of view, because we simply will be, when we are seeking peace. The pressure is off to eradicate evil, because we will leave no space for its power when we are abiding in peace and harmony together.
Of course, we will meet people who are not willing to be partners in love and peace, but the message from Jesus here seems to be to use our energy for peace and love, not for insisting on your point of view or your approach to life.
And in that very act of brushing dust off our feet, we leave in peace, and we show love that allows each person to make their own choices.