Matthew 10:40-42 (NRSV)
Verse 40"Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. Verse 41Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet's reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous; Verse 42and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple-truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward."
Sometimes it feels like this world is held together by red tape. The glue of bureaucracy is as strong as the wheels of change are slow. Jesus knew this, and he tells us about it in the 10th chapter of Matthew. “Being a disciple will not be easy,” Jesus warns, “and the world will not be supportive as you seek to follow me.”
But Jesus offers comfort in today’s reading. Not everyone will be against you. Some might even try to help you. It is important for us as we seek to follow Jesus to always respond in deep thankfulness to those who help, support, and encourage us. Cynicism and summary judgment are not the ways of Jesus; grace, compassion, and gratitude are.
Most of all, Jesus reminds us, God’s valuation of you is far more important than that of your peers. And you are as important to God as is everyone else.
God of discipleship, the way is hard and filled with roadblocks, but you walk with us every step of the way. Remind us of our value in your eyes, and lead us ever into gratitude. Amen.