Are our planning and our pet projects things which Jesus wants us to leave behind? It isn’t a new thought, but it came up again as a small group was discussing the Gospel from Mark 6 on Sunday morning; one of the pleasant side effects of having the First Sunday Thing as our main service is that from time to time I get to be the one looking at the Gospel in a small group rather than simply telling the congregation what I think about it.
Jesus told the disciples to take only sandals, a staff and a tunic; no food, no money, no spare clothes, and nothing in which to carry such things. This led to an interesting discussion about the balance between trusting God and being irresponsible. Being so convinced by or tied into the Business Plan mightn’t allow much room for God to get in. But, for example, charity trustees would be at fault getting into financial trouble by carrying on with something important not quite sure from where the money was to come, and their conviction that they were going forward in faith mightn’t give God any more of a look in.
We noticed Jesus also told them if they’d found one place of hospitality, to stick there and not to seek other places to stay instead. It did make us wonder whether one of the things we ought to leave behind, along with all our other abandoned resources, was what we hoped to achieve and how we hoped to achieve it. ‘Simply go with the opening you find’ seemed a possible message, one parallel to the old encouragement to find out what God appears to be moving and get behind that.
Meanwhile, as the earliest complete Bible was put on line yesterday, I find that the monastery on Mount Sinai from which it comes describes itself as being ‘of the God trodden mountain’, which fills in a gap in my vocabulary for the opposite of ‘God forsaken’ with which I’m very pleased.