BY REV. PERRY AALGAARD - FIRST LUTHERAN CHURCH OF WEST OKOBOJI
In the 6th chapter of Mark, Jesus sends his disciples out, two by two, into the surrounding villages and towns to proclaim the kingdom of God. Jesus tells them, as they are getting ready to leave, that they must travel light. They are to bring along no food, no extra clothes, no bag, and no money. They are left to completely rely upon the goodwill of those they meet on their journey.
This seems to be a strange demand of Jesus, but by traveling light they are forced to have faith that God will help them and it allows the generosity of others to be shown to them. By traveling light, they do not need to worry about keeping track of their money, food, suitcases and all the extra things they would bring along. They only need to focus on meeting people and telling them about the good news they have to share.
This text can be a reminder to us about the extra things we carry along in our lives. I am reminded daily as I look at the world around me that we are burdened by many physical things. Possessions can take control of our lives and keep us from living the abundant life Christ promises to us, but our minds can also become burdened by our emotions and feelings. We may have hurts we have not forgiven, we may harbor hate and anger from them. We may have jealousy and envy as we look at the blessings others have received in their lives that seem to have missed us. We may have the burden of guilt because of things we have done to others.
These internal burdens can weigh us down just as much as or even more so than our physical burdens. Jesus wanted the disciples to travel light so they could accomplish what he called them to do. Jesus wants to take our burdens also. By turning these burdens over to Jesus we can also travel light or at least lighter.
We might have to turn these burdens over to Jesus on a daily basis or maybe even many times a day before we can fully feel the burdens lifting. In Christ we do have the promise of being able to travel light, allowing us to focus on what we are called to do and be in this world.