5th Sunday after Easter

1 Kings 8:41–53, Ruth 1:7–17, Luke 9:57–10:16

Where are you going?

It’s a pretty basic question until we apply it to our lives. It wasn’t long ago, the question was followed with, “…to Heaven or Hell.” However, where are you going isn’t just about the destination, it is also about the journey. In fact, who we meet and how we live on the journey are what makes (or breaks) the Very Good Life.

Solomon’s Temple Inaugural prayer talks about the Very Good Live in general terms and one specific one. The general terms are those that are normal to everyday people. The specific term is focusing on God. The prayer basically revolves around people turning from God (and/or sinning), and people turning to God. Regardless of direction, God is the center.

When Ruth makes this massive commitment to Naomi, we miss all that she gives up in her attempt to be faithful to her family (which now only consists of her mother-in-law). She also willingly surrenders her entire belief structure (and blood family and culture) to God. She turned toward God.

There were many people who followed Jesus. Many of them were unwilling to make a full commitment. Jesus’ rebuke to 3 of them sounds harsh (it is). However, each of us has that same daily decision to make…Jesus, or not. Jesus sent 72 committed disciples out. He did not send them alone. He sent them in pairs. An example of taking the journey with others, for we can never truly walk this journey alone. We aren’t meant to.
The disciples weren’t directed to make converts, they were sent to build relationships. Staying as a guest in someone’s house for the duration of their time in a village meant they had to get along with their hosts. It also meant they could build relationships—build the Kingdom—at a more natural pace, and not the “gospel” that was presented (e.g., “Heaven or Hell”) years ago. If the towns were hospitable, stay. Otherwise, leave. Do your best to be at peace with others, insofar as it depends on you.

1) Where has your faith journey taken you? Have you been so focused on the destination that you didn’t experience the journey?

2) How do you know where you are going, and how do you know when to change direction?

3) How does Solomon’s prayer tie into the task that the disciples were given?

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