Picture from flickr
I was talking to Sarah recently about how to teach ownership to students and children. I have no children of my own, but I do (eventually) want to teach in some capacity. I have my history credential, but there are no jobs this year. The question remains how teach Christ’s message to children and in the same breath teach them about ownership?
The Christmas photo reminds me of many Christmases where my brothers and I would fight over who gets to light the candles at Advent. It also brings back many memories of fights over shared toys and anger when my brothers would destroy “my” legos or when games on the super nintendo would get erased and we would have to start over. Needless to say, I was taught from a very young age the idea of ownership and sharing. But how would Jesus have us live and think of ownership?
It is here that I turn to the book of Luke (9:3-6):
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.
Jesus sends the disciples out with nothing and they are required to depend on others. It is quite a thing to lose your independence in America. I have only seen a few people really lose it in my lifetime and it would seem now they have no choice but to obey him. I don’t think this passage is talking to everyone for all times, but I do think there is a kind of message in the text that reminds us that the “independence” we often talk about in America is not what Jesus had for the apostles. He taught them utter dependence on the communities they were to live in. Perhaps we would be wise to follow in those footsteps.
Perhaps we would be wise to depend and trust one another in a Christ filled community.
Perhaps we would be wise to play together in a way that ownership becomes secondary to friendship.
Perhaps we would be wise to begin the project of really getting to know each other.