Shake it Off
Who knew? I mean that. Who knew that the seventy others sent out represented all of humanity? I only knew it from reading Elaine A. Heath’s commentary on this scripture. She writes “The number seventy implies all of humanity, as Genesis 10 provides a list of all the nations of the world, numbering seventy.”* So Jesus sends out seventy people into the world to spread the news. Seventy people who are to go (notice not take) into the world without a purse, bag, or sandals. Offer people peace when you enter a home. Accept what people offer to you in hospitality. I read this as a grand adventure of stepping out today to our neighbors all around the world. A neighbor offers me enmoladas (enchiladas with mole) or the other neighbor offers tabbouleh salad. I am to accept what is offered to me. Why? It is acceptance of hospitality. It is trying to live within a community standard instead of setting your own as the only culture of community.
We live in a time when the fear of anyone different is driving to build walls of exclusion instead of finding the place of offering peace (or in Hebrew shalom) to all people. Shalom is a Hebrew word meaning peace, harmony, wholeness, completeness, prosperity, welfare and tranquility. A stranger is to go into a community to share the good news of the kingdom of God. If people do not accept this relationship, no need to grow angry or hostile. Move on and shake the dust off your feet. Maybe this is what we need today. Shake it off. Shake it off.
*Elaine A. Heath’s essay from Feasting on the Word, Year C, Volume 3 , Westminster John Knox Press, Louisville, 2010. Page 214.
Rev. Jo Mead is an ordained elder in the Great Plains Conference serving University United Methodist Church in Wichita, Kansas.
©2017 by individual authors and Facebook Narrative Lectionary Group. This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.