Thursday 4 February 2021


Shake the dust

Read

Jesus made a tour round the villages, teaching. Then he summoned the Twelve and began to send them out in pairs giving them authority over the unclean spirits. And he instructed them to take nothing for the journey except a staff – no bread, no haversack, no coppers for their purses. They were to wear sandals but, he added, ‘Do not take a spare tunic.’ And he said to them, ‘If you enter a house anywhere, stay there until you leave the district. And if any place does not welcome you and people refuse to listen to you, as you walk away shake off the dust from under your feet as a sign to them.’ So they set off to preach repentance; and they cast out many devils, and anointed many sick people with oil and cured them.

Mark 6:7-13

Reflect

We are often asked to prove our worth. In the world of work it may mean reaching set targets or making a certain number of sales. Perhaps in Annual Reviews, employers will demand to know how you have fulfilled all that was expected of you, to discover if you are worth your wage! And what about Christian Ministry and our calling as disciples? The Church is not immune to Annual Reviews, and may often demand that clergy and parishes express their success or evaluate their worth with targets and projects. And yet Ministry can’t always be measured in this way. In the gospel reading for today, Jesus actually prepared his Apostles for failure. They won’t always be successful in proclaiming the gospel. “If any place does not welcome you and people refuse to listen to you,” he said, “as you walk away shake off the dust from under your feet as a sign to them.” Our ministry, whatever that means, will always carry a certain measure of failure. We will face conflict and disappointment, disbelief and discouraging, disdainful responses. We should simply take them in our stride, shake the dust off our feet and move on.

Pray

God our Father, as we seek to share the good news of Christ, help us to deal with failure and disappointment as though it’s just dust shaken from our shoes. Through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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