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Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Dependence on God

Mark 6: 7-13

“7 Calling the Twelve to him, he began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits. 8 These were his instructions: “Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. 9 Wear sandals but not an extra shirt. 10 Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. 11 And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, leave that place and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” 12 They went out and preached that people should repent. 13 They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.”

When I go on vacation, I start a list of the things that I need and want to take with me weeks in advance.  As I think of things I write them on the list.  Some are obvious such as the clothes I will be wearing, the number of pairs of socks, etc.  Some items are based on where we are going, such as beach chairs, cooler and flip flops, versus hiking boots and binoculars.

But anywhere we go there is always a list that is two pages long, with check marks by each item as I pack them.  Jesus denied the Disciples any such list before they left on their trip.  In fact he denied them the very items that people think are necessary for a trip, such as money, extra clothes, or food.

The Disciples were to be models of simplicity, living off the land and the goodwill of those they encountered.  They were to have implicit trust that God would protect them.  Their humble means was designed to keep them humble in spirit.  Since Jesus had given them “authority over impure spirits” he knew that they would be tempted by the world in the same way he was tempted in the wilderness.  He did not want them to forget their dependence on God.

The material things with which we surround ourselves make us forget that we are dependent on God for everything, every day.  

As we make our lists for the things that we need and want, let’s not forget to write “God” at the top.  And maybe we will discover that is all we really need to write.


May the love of Christ be with you,

Rev. Eric Lanier (Retired)


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