The Bear Necessities!
I’m sure that image from Disney’s The Jungle Book is very familiar to you.
It’s about those things which we need, the basics, food – and primarily food that won’t hurt!
Baloo is teaching Mowgli how to live – even down to the basics of how to pick the prickly pear – without getting hurt.
This has relationship and community at its heart as Mowgli learns how to depend on the forest.
You may be wondering if after 21 years if I’ve noticed that it’s traditional to use the Bible for the sermon rather than an animated film…
Bear with me! There is a connection.
In our gospel reading Jesus sends out his 12 followers, he sends them in pairs – like Baloo and Mowgli, this is about supporting one another.
Jesus sends them out with only the ‘bare necessities’ – not to depend on the forest but rather to depend on those they are sent to.
The disciples do not have enough with them to be ‘independent’ or ‘self-sufficient’ they will need to rely on the hospitality of others wherever they find welcome.
For me, as I celebrate 21 years of being a ‘minister of religion’ I am aware more than ever that public ministry means living and working in an interdependent way.
Now here is a question for each of us…..
We can ask ourselves:
Am I more evangelist sharing the Good News with words?
Am I more community offering hospitality while others speak?
To be honest both hospitality and words communicate God’s love to others, I began my ministry as a Church Army Evangelist in the Church of England and the motto was (and still is) ‘Sharing Faith in Words and Actions’.
Whether we are someone who speaks about our faith or someone who lives out our faith, and most of us will do both to some extent but might be more comfortable with one than the other, we are communication something of God’s Love.
So for us we might ask – in our villages… in the places we live… where we work or go to school…
How do we show hospitality?
How can we speak of our faith to others?
Both of these are done in God’s strength and 21 years into ministry I am more aware of that than ever.
It is a privilege to have served Billesdon, Goadby, Rolleston, Skeffington, Hungarton and Keyham for 10 years now and Gaulby, Illston, Kings Norton and Little Stretton for a little less!
Wherever God has called me I have served with all my heart, my soul, my mind and my strength but each of those has been underpinned by God’s strength and the support of the people in each of those places.
So this week let us concentrate on the ‘Bare Necessities’ – our relationship with God and with each other and the calling each of us have, whatever form that takes, to share the Good News of God’s Love with others.