Matthew 10:16-22: See, I am sending you out like sheep into the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Beware of them, for they will hand you over to councils and flog you in their synagogues….
Most professional athletes long to have crowds back in the stands, so sound engineers “pipe in” artificial sound in an attempt to re-create reality. One NFL quarterback may not care for that sense of reality, though, as the artificial crowd sound booed him for the team’s performance.
The ‘reality’ we crave can include very undesirable elements. Jesus warned his followers that they would not always be welcomed when they carried the ‘Good News.’ He said, “See, I am sending you out like sheep into the midst of wolves.” Their mission in reality held danger and threat, despite the word of love they would carry.
In any important matter, a human being faces unpleasantness or even threat which hadn’t factored into ideal expectations. We are called to carry the news of Jesus—in our words and actions—and that charge sounds perfectly harmless. Yet others will find that Word offensive or threatening, so the life of carrying the Gospel does not turn out to be all sweetness and light.
We should be joyful and optimistic as we point toward God’s way, but we also have to expect that we will not always be welcomed. It isn’t an easy prospect to consider.
Do we truly want a sense of reality, or not?
Psalm 119: 145-176; Jeremiah 11:18-23 (St. James of Jerusalem)
Copyright 2020 by Carol Mead. For noncommercial use and sharing only. For more information on this ministry, and on a free subscription to these meditations, please go to the website (www.holyordinary.com).