Rev. Wendy Komori Stager
When Jesus sends the disciples out in Mark 6, he orders them to take nothing for their journey except a staff. He tells them clearly what not to pack: no bread. . . no bag. . . no money in their belts. This is not a command of Jesus that we can apply literally to our modern times. Middle Eastern customs of hospitality enabled the disciples to expect that there would be welcome, food and shelter along the way. It is also true that Jesus’ disciple didn’t own as much as we did.
I am guilty of over-packing. I try to predict everything that I will need for a variety of situations so that I am prepared. The spare sweater gets included at the last minute. The simplicity of Jesus’ packing list challenges me to see the value of traveling lightly. Jesus reminds the disciples that they have what is essential for their task and to trust as they go.