The seventy disciples must have felt terrified. Without warning, it seems, Jesus sends them into the world to minister. In some ways, it is what they have desired. Surely some of them have been thinking, I want to be like Jesus. I want to do the things that he is doing. But it is one thing to have those thoughts and another thing entirely to act on them. Now the time to act has come. They can no longer sit in the background, watching Jesus teach and do works of power. It’s their turn to step up. As if that were not enough pressure, Jesus adds a catch: Carry nothing.
We would have a hard time following Jesus’ direction today. In our daily lives, our focus on schedules, plans, and material possessions leaves little space to hear how God wants to use us that day. Or for mission trips, we send out reconnaissance teams to study the mission field and figure out its needs. Then we plan for months, accumulating supplies that will meet any need that the mission team might have or encounter. While necessary for many mission endeavors, imagine the possibility of engaging the mission field and following Jesus’ direction: Carry nothing.
Carry nothing. These words invite us into the moment, to lean into the arms of Jesus who supplies our needs. Carry nothing. It reminds us that our power does not come from possessions or planning but from our faith and trust in the Son of God who holds all power in his hand.

Lord of love and light, free us from the entrapments of material possessions and dependence on our own efforts that keep us from leaning into your abundant grace and power. Help us to love and trust you fully and to carry that love into the world. Amen.

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