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Matthew Berry

A Concord Minute

The Rev. Matthew Berry is pastor of Concordia Lutheran Church in Sikeston, Missouri. Based in the Historic North End of Sikeston, Concordia has served Sikeston for over 100 years. Concordia is a member congregation of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS), a theologically conservative, biblically sound, Christ-centered church.

Opinion

A Concord Minute: Come on! Itíll be an Adventure

Friday, July 5, 2024

ďAn [Jesus] called the 12 and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. He charged them to take nothing for their journey except a staff - no bread, no bag, no money in their belts - but to wear sandals and not put on two tunicsÖ so they went out and proclaimed that the people should repent. And they cast out many demons and anointed with oil many who were sick and healed themĒ - Mark 6:7-9, 12-13

ďAwh, man! I forgot something! We have to turn around!Ē - says everyone every time we go on vacation. You and I have our packing lists for vacations. Clothes - check. Pillow - check. Underwear - check. So on and so forth. But there is always something left behind. How frustrating and how expensive depending on what you left behind! But, whereís the adventure in having it all together?

Jesus sends His apostles on an adventure with three things: the shirt on their backs, Godís Word, and His presence. Donít pack money, or food, or even bring a suitcase. Not even a toothbrush (ok, maybe that would be good to pack). Jesus sends His apostles out into the towns and surrounding areas of Nazareth. Why? To speak Godís saving truth. What an adventure!

Perhaps this type of adventure seems too brazen or unplanned for you and me. Knowing myself, I want everything packed before I head out the door for a trip. I will check and recheck that I have everything. This business of walking out the door with Godís Word and His presence seems too adventurous. Yet, that is faith in action.

The apostles trusted that God would take care of their needs of body and soul as they proclaimed repentance for the forgiveness of sins. The apostles understood the assignment (even if they were perhaps rightly nervous). The apostles listened by faith in Jesus. Their lives became quite the adventure of proclamation and forgiveness. When food or shelter or water was needed, the apostlesí needs were met.

In our day, Jesus sends out His church to speak His truth. All of you reading this Minute who are believers in Jesus are called to speak Godís truth to others. Jesus doesnít pick the unbelievers to speak His name. Jesus chooses His own disciples - you and me - to speak Christís name to the rest of you readers who donít believe in Jesus. If the church refuses to speak Godís truth, we are most to be pitied. Jesus gives His church the good news of salvation, no one else.

So, fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, forget the list. Donít worry about packing up everything to bring with you. All you need are the clothes on your back, Godís Word, and His presence in Christ. Will you join Jesus on His mission? Come on! Itíll be an adventure!

The Rev. Matthew Berry is pastor of Concordia Lutheran Church in Sikeston, Missouri. Based in Sikestonís Historic North End, Concordia is a member congregation of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS), a theologically conservative, biblically sound, Christ-centered church.

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