Sermons 2007
"Travel Light!" Proper 9C, 8 July 2007, Luke 10:1-12, 16-20

Home | In the Beginning was the Word, Christmas Day, 25 December 2007, John 1:1-14 | What's Missing? Christmas Eve, 24 December 2007, Luke 2:1-20 | Joseph, the Forgotten One, Advent 4A, 23 December 2007, Matthew 1:18-25 | Come with Joy, Advent 3A, 16 December 2007, Matthew 11:2-11 | Darkness or Light? Advent 1A, 2 December 2007, Matthew 24:37-44 | What Kind of King is He? Proper 29C, 25 November 2007, Luke 23:35-43 | Predictions and the Horseman of the Apocalypse, Proper 28C, 18 Nov 2007, Luke 31:5-19 | Just passing through? Proper 27C , 11 November 2007, Luke 20:20-38 | Not like others? Proper 25C, 28 October 2007, Luke 18:9-14 | "We are bold to say", Proper 24C, 21 October 2007, Luke 18:1-8a | "The ten lepers", Proper 23C, 14 October 2007, Luke 17:11-19 | Proper 22C and Holy Baptism, 7 October 2007 | A taste of cool water, Proper 21C, 30 September 2007, Luke 16:19-31 | We hear what we want to hear, Proper 20C, 23 September 2007, Luke 16:1-13 | "Lost -- but found!" Proper 19C, 16 September 2007, Luke 15:1-10 | "Who is coming to dinner?" Proper 17C, 2 September 2007, Luke 14:1, 7-14 | Doors and narrow gates, Proper 16C, 26 August 2007, Luke 13:22-30 | "Fire to the earth", Proper 15C, 19 August 2007, Luke 12:49-56 | "Do not be afraid, little flock', Proper 14C, 12 August 2007, Luke 12:32-40 | "How much is enough?" Proper 13C , 5 August 2007, Luke 12:13-21 | "Lord, teach us to pray" Proper 12C, 29 July 2007, Luke 11:1-13 | "The Better Part?" Proper 11C, 22 July 2007, Luke 10:38-42 | The Good Samaritan -- the Summary of the Law" Proper 10C, 15 July 2007, Luke 10:25-37 | "Travel Light!" Proper 9C, 8 July 2007, Luke 10:1-12, 16-20 | "Independence Day" Proper 8C, 1 July 2007, Luke 9:51-62 | "Three Questions", Proper 7C, 24 Jun 2007, Luke 9:18-24 | "In or Out?" Proper 6C, 17 June 2007, Luke 7:36-50 | "On Grace", Proper 5C, 10 June 2007, Luke 7:11-17 | Trinity C, 3 June 2007 | Pentecost C, 27 May 2007 | "Unity and Diversity" Easter 7C, 20 May 2007, John 17:20-26 | "Come, Holy Spirit, Come" Easter 6C, 13 May 2007, John 14:23-29 | "What is this thing called love?" Easter 5C, 6 May 2007, John 13:31-35 | "Numbers and Sheep", Easter 4C, 29 April 2007, John 10:22-30 | Virginia Tech, Easter 3C, 22 April 2007 Revelation 6:8-10 | Thomas Doubter and Believer, Easter 2C, 15 April 2007. John 20: 19-31 | ""Why do you look for the living among the dead?" Easter Sunday, 8 April 2007, Luke 24:1-10 | Good Friday 6 April 2007 | Maundy Thursday 5 April 2007 | Why are we not surprised? Palm/Passion Sunday C, 1 April 2007, Luke 22:39-23:50 | Party or Pout? Lent 4C, 18 March 2007, Luke 15:11-32 | To Stand on the Mountaintop, Lent 3C, 11 March 2007, Exodus 3:1-15 | "Ways Not Taken", Lent 2C, 4 March 2007. Luke 13:22-35 | "Liminal Thresholds and Lintels", Lent 1C, 25 February 2007, Luke 4:1-13 | Ash Wednesday Meditation 2007 | "Transfiguration and Transformation, Epiphany Last C, 18 February 2007, Luke 9:28-36 | "Weal and Woe", Epiphany 6C, 11 February 2007, Luke 6:17-26 | "Who, me?" Epiphany 5C, 4 February 2007, Luke 5:1-11 | "Filled with rage!" Epiphany 4C, 28 January 2007, Luke 4:21-32 | "The Spirit of the Lord is upon us," Epiphany 3C, 21 January 2007, Luke 4:14-21 | "Weddings and Miracles," Epiphany 2C, 14 January 2007, John 2:1-11 | Schism and Epiphany, Epiphany 1C, 7 Dec 2007, Luke 3:15-16, 21-22

Proper 9C 2007 Luke 10:1-12, 16-20

Live Free or Die. My stepdaughter has just moved here from New Hampshire. For many years the license plates of New Hampshire bore the slogan made famous by Revolutionary War general John Stark – "live free or die." The irony is that these license plates were made by inmates in the state prison. They were not free to leave their prison, but many of us stay in our prisons voluntarily even though we have the power to leave. We want to live free, but we do not want to do what we need to do to be truly free. (1)

Think about this editorial (author unknown) entitled “Only in America”:

Only in America can a pizza get to your house faster than an ambulance.

Only in America are there handicap parking places in front of a skating rink.

Only in America do drugstores make the sick walk all the way to the back of the store to get their prescriptions, while healthy and sick people can buy cigarettes at the front.

Only in America do people order double cheeseburgers, large fries and a DIET coke.

Only in America do we leave cars worth thousands of dollars in the driveway and put our junk in the garage.

Only in America do we use answering machines to screen calls and can have call-waiting so we won’t miss a call from someone we didn’t want to talk to in the first place.

Only in America do we buy hot dogs in packages of ten and buns in packages of eight. (2)

Andrew Tobias, the financial author and analyst, had this to say. “Go down any day to the waterfront, and you will find a crowd of unhappy people. Someone will be having trouble getting the motor on their yacht to crank. Someone else will be scraping barnacles. Another will be repainting.

“Things just don't make you happy. Property brings problems. It is like an alligator that takes a bite out of your pocket every time you turn around. Don't be burdened by too many material things. As you go through life, one of the secrets of success is to travel light. (3)

"Go on your way," Jesus told the seventy messengers. "Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals." Travel light: Don't take any baggage with you, whether baggage compartment baggage or carry on baggage or put in the car trunk baggage.

Could we could handle that, no baggage. Modern lives seem to revolve around baggage: brief cases, cell phones, book bags, purses, golf bags, fishing gear, lap tops, purses, wallets, and calendars. It would be hard to survive without cosmetic bags, shaving kits, pill boxes, cameras, and camcorders, talking books, and compact disks and so much more in the baggage of things with which we surround ourselves -- and most of which we could do without.

Take the calendar, for example. How could we exist without the calendar to order our lives; for too many of us, the calendar book and its ranks of schedules and appointments, meetings and social events -- this is our life. We would be lost without it.

And what about clocks and watches. Have we ever wondered how much of our lives are run, organized, and controlled by this one inanimate object. Sometimes I wonder if the clock and not God has become the organizing principle of my own daily round.

And that's just the material, calendar, and clock schedule baggage. What about the emotional baggage we might have to leave behind if Jesus called us, and sent us out with instructions to travel light. Suppose Jesus told us that all we could carry as his messengers were the clothes on our backs and the Gospel, the good news, in our hearts and minds and mouths and lives. That and nothing else. We would, I suspect, not be very happy campers without all our clutter and stuff, the baggage we have worked so hard to accumulate and which chains us in place, ties us down, and keeps us from traveling light.

That's exactly what today's Gospel is telling us. Don't let all these things keep you from what is really important: focusing on the Kingdom of God and spreading the Good News wherever and whenever we can – loving God and loving our neighbors. We have been called by our Lord to focus our lives not on the baggage and stuff and things and clutter which hold us back, but to focus instead on the treasures of God that we have hidden within us under all that stuff and clutter.

This Gospel challenges us to explain what kind of messengers we are? What kind indeed!

1. J. Michael Shannon, Preaching, March/April 2004, p. 61, in eSermons Illustrations for July 4, 2007, modified.
2. In eSermons Illustrations for July 4, 2007, modified
3. Quoted in eSermons Illustrations for July 8, 2007