Daily Office Readings for Monday of Proper 24: Year 2
“Jesus said to him, ‘No one who puts a hand to the plough and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62)
Let’s go deeper using this agricultural metaphor. If we are plowing a field, we can’t look back and tell where we are going, only where we have been. Once we set out to churn up the soil we must stay focused on where we are going and how the tiller is working.
Just so, as we carry the message of love into the world we must stay focused on the challenges that lie in front of us. We can’t keep looking back at the places where we succumbed to selfishness, jealousy or hate. We must keep our eyes fixed on the new path ahead. And like the rows of earth being created by the tiller, the road we are on is often being created by us as we walk it. Jesus is often sending us out ahead of himself to prepare the Way as he did with John the Baptist.
The path we try to build is not always successful. As we read, “he sent messengers ahead of him. On their way they entered a village of the Samaritans to make ready for him; but they did not receive him, because his face was set towards Jerusalem. When his disciples James and John saw it, they said, ‘Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?’ But he turned and rebuked them” (Luke 9: 52 to 55}. Apparently James and John had some power and they wanted to use it. But revenge and retaliation is not the Jesus Way.
For me this means that we do what we can do, where we can do it, in the Name of the love of our Lord Jesus. Where we can’t, we move on. We don’t stay and bring down a fire and brimstone argument about rejection. We must keep our eyes on the potentially fertile field ahead. Once we set out to churn up the soil we must stay focused on where we are going and how the tiller is working. Go forth then my beloved of the Lord, stay focused and do good work.
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to, and through, the saints of God, and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John