Good morning all! Happy Saturday!
Then Jesus called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal. He said to them, ‘Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money—not even an extra tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there, and leave from there. Wherever they do not welcome you, as you are leaving that town shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.’ They departed and went through the villages, bringing the good news and curing diseases everywhere.
Yesterday Betty and I went and got the tree for the year. Hooray! This is the tree pre decoration. We always have to really have a conversation about whether or not we want a a tree for the year due to busy schedules, and the trouble of getting a tree but it comes down to the fact that we love having a tree and it’s really not that hard to go and get one. And always around this weekend is when I start to have the longing for a tree.
This particular timing seems to come from when my family would decide to get a tree…right around Colin’s birthday and since Colin’s birthday is Monday this must surely be the weekend to get the tree. There is something very strong about tradition that pulls us in ways to continue it on. I remember when Colin was born, we had just gone to get the tree to be ready. Colin was so cute, he came home in a Christmas stocking. The Christmas card went out a little late that year and the three of us were laughing at the newborn in the stocking (I got to hold him).
As we were putting up the tree, I started to take out the accumulated ornaments. I like this ritual almost as much as any other ritual because there are so many stories that go along with each ornament.
“oooo…that ornament! I love that ornament….remember when that one person got that for me?” or “Ah, that ornament means this to me” or “That ornament reminds me of that time.” Growing up, we would all gather in the living room and my mom would start laying them all out and we each had our favorites to put up. I found myself last night putting all of the ornaments out on the table so we could be in intentional about which ornament would go where and which one we would want to put up. The lights went on, the ornaments went on, and it felt like we were a little more into the season last night. I am glad that we got a tree this weekend.
While I was fulfilling this tradition, I spent some moments realizing my connection to the past and what I have been empowered to do. This is maybe not the strongest connection to scripture this morning but it is part of the story. While we could look at hospitality with this scripture or healing, this morning look at how the disciples are given tools from their past to continue on. They will have to prepare in their own ways and then carry out the tasks Jesus asks of them with the tools he gives them in powerful ways. They will have to recall tradition and carry on the tradition in order to make it work. Much like preparing in Advent they must remember the story, recall how to prepare, and put up their own trees or in this case heal away and continue on.
Where are the traditions that will help you prepare? What helps connect you to the healthy past and propels you forward into the future? And do you have your tree this year?
Prayer: O God, help us to remember where we are sent, how we prepare for action, and where the tradition leads us this morning. Instill in us the want to go out into the world during the season. Amen.