Worship Companion – June 5 2022

Welcome back to the Worship Companion! 
With connect groups starting up again, I want to take a moment to remind you that one of the best ways to use the worship companion is in a group. Whether for formal or informal discussion, the scripture, art, videos and questions are all here to help you wrestle with the text, the message, and ultimately to help you discern what God is prompting you to do.
 
See the source image

Jesus sends out the 12 apostles, wood engraving, 1860

Today our focus is on the sending of the twelve disciples. Remember, “disciples” means “learners,” ones who have learned from Jesus. An “apostle” means “a sent one,” so you can also call our story from scripture “the sending of the twelve apostles.”
 
Did you know that we are all both disciples and apostles, too? We are all called to come together and learn from Jesus, and we are all instructed to go out and take that learning to others. How do we do that? In word and deed. As we’ll see in our passage today, Jesus gave the apostles several important instructions about what their mission was and how it was supposed to happen.
 
Anchor Text:
 
 
Questions to Ponder:
 
1. Why do you think Jesus told the disciples to avoid everyone who wasn’t Jewish? The Samaritans were partially Jewish, why avoid them?
 
2. Have you ever felt God calling you to do a specific mission? To whom were you sent? Think about the fact that to receive a mission to serve one particular group is also a call away from a mission to everyone else. Is this always the case, or are there exceptions?
 
3. Do you have a “group of 12” – a medium sized group that you connect with, worship with, and learn from Jesus with? Do you have 1-3 people you are very closely acquainted with? Are you part of a large group of Christians that you worship and go on mission with? What are some of the benefits of each of these levels of connection?
 
a. Compare what Jesus says here to what we read earlier. Jesus is directly referencing our passage today to make a point about his impending crucifixion. Some people quote this to say that the mission has changed. That’s debatable at best. The missionary journeys of the book of Acts make it quite clear there was not a new “armed” way of missions that the disciples now employed. Re-read verse 35, what point might Jesus be driving home here? 
 
5. In verse 13 and 14 of our passage today, there is the idea of “peace” resting on the house (read: the people of the house). If the people are receptive then the mission goes forward. Think about the way this bears out in your own life – are there people who are receptive to the good news of Christ and the kingdom around you? Pay attention – let your peace (your words and deeds) go to work with that person as the Spirit gives you ability. Are there people you love, but maybe aren’t receptive? You can’t force the kingdom or your peace on them, let it return to you, pray for them, and look elsewhere for your present mission.
 
 
The Theme in Art:
 

Jesus Sends Out The Twelve Apostles Published 1886

In the mid 19th century it seems that wood carvings (which were used to press illustrations into Bibles) were common in depicting the sending of the 12. The opening image for today’s blog was made just 6 years earlier for a different illustrated Bible, but is strikingly similar. Jesus is the central figure, a clear leader of the group. His hand is raised and giving direction and his face is clearest and brightest of them all. Jesus is also slightly elevated, or at least appears taller than the rest of the group. What is helpful about these depictions? Do our lives reflect the key aspects of these illustrations? Is Jesus standing above everything and everyone else in our lives? Are we paying attention to the words of his mouth and the direction in which he is pointing us? Do we see him as our leader and the central figure of our fellowship together?
 
 
The Theme for Kids:
This video is taken right from our passage today. Some of what Jesus says comes from the verses where our passage stopped, but you can read verses Matthew 10:16-17 to get the rest. This video is for kids, but it shows just how real the ministry of the disciples was, including healing very sick people and casting out demons who really possessed people. If you haven’t heard of “Superbook” it is a great video resource that you can find on YouTube.
 

 
The Theme in Song:
 
I found a new song by an artist (Lucas McCloud) and a group (Circuit Rider Music) that I hadn’t heard of before. This song is all about embracing the call to go where God instructs us. The song is simple and powerful. You can read the lyrics below the video on YouTube in the description. Listen to the song, soak in the words, but don’t let it lull you into inaction! Note the first words of the second verse “my life will be the war on inaction” – Lord, let it be so!
 
 

 
 
 

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