This piece was a wedding gift from a lady in our church at Orange (where Lani Rousseau is serving now!). She was in Disciple Bible Study with Lisa and I before we were engaged.
I always try to hang this near the front door.
The passage you read today from Luke, shows Jesus giving instructions to 72 of the followers he is sending out in pairs to the villages He's about to visit. We might think of these as 36 advance teams who are going to prepare the way of the Lord. This is not a very long training experience, but I expect that most of these 72 have been traveling with Jesus for an extended period of time. And I would imagine that ten minutes of training with Jesus is equivalent to all day with anybody else ... at the least.
In verses 5–7 Jesus speaks about staying in somebody’s home: “As soon as you enter a home, say, ‘God bless this home with peace.’ If the people living there are peace-loving, your prayer for peace will bless them. But if they are not peace-loving, your prayer will return to you. Stay with the same family, eating and drinking whatever they give you, because workers are worth what they earn. Don’t move around from house to house.”
This fits with what Jesus teaches later in Luke in the Parable of Ten Servants (19:11-27): “Those who have something will be given more. But everything will be taken away from those who don’t have anything.”
This may sound like some cruel punishment that God will inflict upon us, but it is actually a simple statement of how we experience blessings and curses.
If we are attuned to the blessings of life (peace-loving) then we can perceive the blessings in our lives, even when they are ebbing away to almost nothing. Then, as we hang on to our last blessing we receive any new blessing like we would a five-minute rain shower after a two-year drought.
But if we are more attuned to receiving curses, or if we are always alert to notice the slightest insult or injury (not peace-loving), then even if the blessings of our lives never ebb - but always flow - we will feel that they are ebbing away, because we do not pay attention to our blessings. We will feel cursed, because we have trained ourselves to acknowledge only the bad in our lives.
This is also what Jesus is trying to teach Martha in Luke 10:38-42, when he tells her, “Martha, Martha! You are worried and upset about so many things, but only one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen what is best, and it will not be taken away from her.”
May God bless your home!