A woman on a plane was told by a fellow passenger to “stop speaking Spanish!” In a happy turn of events, another fellow passenger, angered by the rudeness of the man making this demand, began speaking Spanish, too — and so did the flight attendant! People giving their opinion about this story that appeared in an online news source called GOOD said they would have chimed in even though their Spanish is poor, and still others claimed they would have found choice words in whatever languages besides English they do know.
Perhaps it’s best that all those commenters were not present so as to avoid a pile-on of Babel proportion.
The thing is, the guy starting this row seemed oblivious to his place in the world.
Jesus sent the 70 (or 72 depending on which translation you are reading) out to be missionaries of peace. They went out — away from their own familiar circle where people no doubt did things differently than the way things were done at home.
Adding to the challenge of being sent out, Jesus said: “eat what is set before you.” That is good manners, but it doesn’t mean you always have to eat your beets. If we think of the whole scenario as an instruction on living as peacemakers in the world, we will have to be more “others-focused.”
For all kinds of reasons, Christian mission has too often been reduced to making others more like us. What if we think more broadly, more universally, more about, as Eugene Peterson wrote in his transliteration of the Bible, The Message, “You are here to be light, bringing out the God colors in the world.”
I hope to see you on Sunday at DiscipleChurch to talk a little more about these ideas and to make music and share in the communion table.
8:30 am in Leonard Memorial Chapel — everyone is welcome!