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Reflection for Friday 19 Feb 2020

Shake off the Dust

What is your pattern for packing your suitcases when heading off on a journey?

Are you a “just in case” packer? Packing everything imaginable just in case you might need it?

Or are you a “minimalist” packer? Preferring to set of with a little as possible, content to see how things pan out?

I used to be in the first camp, especially when my children were little, but over the years I have learned to travel light.

On recent Camino pilgrimage walks I have taken only one complete change of clothes and some first aid provisions, along with necessary documents like passport, insurance etc.

I found all went well. Apart from one occasion when I left my one change of clothes behind in a wardrobe, only realizing my mistake later that evening by which time I was miles along the road. It as annoying, but easily remedied by buying another set to see me through.

I also took the opportunity to book head accommodation, so I always knew I had a bed to sleep in each night and a breakfast provided for the next morning.

How would I have felt though, if I had been told not to pack even these bare provisions for the road? To just set off and rely on the hospitality of others to see me through?

There’s a lovely account of Jesus asking his disciples to do just that. We find in in Luke’s gospel 9:1-6. Jesus sends out his disciples to preach the kingdom of God, to heal the sick and cast out demons. He told them to take nothing for the journey……………. No change of clothes, no money, no food……… enter homes where they were welcomed and stay there, but if not welcomed, to simply shake the dust off their feet and move on.

Go, Jesus says, I give you all you need for the journey ahead…… have my power and my authority, it’s enough.

And Jesus is not just talking to them about material baggage……………….he’s also talking bout the emotional baggage we carry round.

If the disciples’ message of the kingdom is rejected, they are not to burden themselves with feelings of rejection, failure, anger or anxiety, but to shake the dust off their feet let go, and move on.

One of my young grandsons has been captivated my the movie Frozen, and goes around singing the theme song from it “ Let it go”…………..I know my daughter gets fed up hearing it but there’s a wee message there for all of us.

During Lent we have an opportunity to give up and let go. Not just of material things, but emotions that weigh us down.

Maybe today we can have a look at some of the things that are a burden to us……………….leave that bag of ill feelings, that cloak of shame or guilt, that package of deep hurt…………..let them go for a day, and see how light it makes us feel.

Then, seek out a fellow pilgrim, and share your thoughts, ask for their prayers, and allow healing to come. Let it go, and let God hold you in the palm of his hand.

Let us pray,

Our Father, in heaven, hallowed be your name.

Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.

And do not bring us to the time of trial, but deliver us from evil,

For yours in the kingdom, the power and the glory

For ever and ever,



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