Dropping the Ball

IMG_1633for Sunday, July 7, 2013
14th Sunday in Ordinary Time
7th Sunday after Pentecost
Proper 9
Year C
lectionary focus: Luke 10:1-11, 16-20
inspiration: Thanks again to Carolyn for showing me how to “Shake the dust from my sandals!”

Once upon a time, two teams were playing a baseball game. It was a big, important game, and each player was doing his best to win for his team. The fans for each team were cheering away, hoping that their team would win. Each team was doing so well that it all came down to one play at the end. As the batter hit the ball to the far outfield, everyone knew…if the outfielder caught the ball, the outfield team would win; if the outfielder missed the catch, the infield team would score and win. Everyone held their breath as the ball took forever to soar across the field. The outfielder got in position, set his glove, and caught the ball…then he dropped it. The infield team scored and won. The outfield team lost. The young man who had dropped the ball stood there shaking his head. His coach ran onto the field and began yelling at him. The coach really chewed him out for his mistake. Then the player looked up at his coach, smiled, and said, “Yep, I did my best and it didn’t work. We lost the game. But…it is a game. And we are lucky enough to get to play baseball every day.”

Life is hard. Don’t ever say that you were not told that life is hard, because life is hard.

In our Bible story today, Jesus prepares the disciples for this reality. Jesus sends His followers out to share God’s love, but He warns them that it will not always be easy. Jesus tells us that sometimes things will be great and sometimes things will be not so great. But we are a joyous part of God’s kingdom! We are loved by God every day! And if certain things don’t work out–we don’t win a game or go on a trip or get something we want, we should “shake the dust from our sandals” and move on. Wait? “Shake the dust from our sandals?” Yes, those are the words our Bible story uses. Jesus is saying that we shouldn’t let disappointing events weigh us down, get us dirty, mess up our day. Just like when we get mud or dirt on our shoes, whether we are wearing sandals or tennis shoes or just our feet, we clean off the dirt and move on. We are doing our best and sharing God’s love…and that is what we are called to do: to build God’s kingdom. And building a kingdom is hard, but we are lucky enough to get to build it every day.

Will you pray with me? (This is an echo prayer: the leader says a line and the children repeat it.)

Dear Lord,
Thank You
for Your love.
Help me
to build Your kingdom,
and help me
to shake the dust from my sandals
when things are hard.

We are not Christians alone.
My mission is to share, inspire, and encourage.

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