40 WAYS 40 DAYS #23 Travel Light

WAY #23. Travel Light, Matthew 10:9, Monday 31 March


Matthew 10:9

 9Take no gold, or silver, or copper in your belts, 10no bag for your journey, or two tunics, or sandals, or a staff; for labourers deserve their food.

I find one of the biggest challenges and biggest barriers to doing ministry in the inner city of Melbourne is anxiety about our hectic lifestyles and worry about whether we will have enough time and money.  

Literally one of the greatest needs I feel and see each week as I talk to people, attend Sunday worship or work at our People’s Pantry in Flemington is anxiety… its pervasive and infectious and I’m rarely immune from its powerful spirit.  Our blackboard out front of our Pantry has a saying… “There may not be much, but together, there will there be enough”. This may or may not be true of the food any given week…(it’s mostly always an earthy miracle of sharing) It’s pretty much always the case with the anxiety!

I love Eugene Peterson’s contemporary rewrite of this passage…

9-10 “Don’t think you have to put on a fund-raising campaign before you start. You don’t need a lot of equipment. You are the equipment, and all you need to keep that going is three meals a day. Travel light.

When I find myself getting anxious I often turn to the words and ideas of my farmer/ theologian guru, Wendell Berry for guidance and re-focus.  At times I find myself taking a deep breath, inhaling and quoting the line from one of his poems that reminds me that the kingdom of heaven is not distant but amongst us.


What We Need Is Here

Geese appear high over us,
pass, and the sky closes. Abandon,
as in love or sleep, holds
them to their way, clear
in the ancient faith: what we need
is here. And we pray, not
for new earth or heaven, but to be
quiet in heart, and in eye,
clear. What we need is here. 

– Wendell Berry


You can read about Wendell Berry and his approach to faith, community and farming here.

You can imagine how happy I was when I found that my  mantra had been turned into a simple chant that we will be using at Newmarket Baptist this Sunday as a refrain for our Call to Worship.

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/30428151″>What We Need Is Here led by Emily Scott Houston 2011</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/allsaintscompany”>All Saints Company</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Think you’re too time or money poor or that your church is too small to make a difference…

Jesus’ missionary instructions remind us…What we need is here!

– Marcus Curnow





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