Saturday, March 19, 2011

Travel Expectations

Putting the word “surprise” next to the word “air travel” is not always a pleasant combination. Surprises when traveling by plane today often take the shape of interruptions, nuisances, costs, delays and inconveniences. All of us have had those moments of “surprise” when a bottle that went through airport screening in one location is banned in another. My recent “surprise” was on Continental Airlines. When we settled into our seats, our TV sets in front of us were showing “DirectTV” satellite shows: news, sports and movies. Then a message popped onto the screen inviting us to continue with this great service for a $6.00 credit card charge….Surprise! We now get to pay for TV!! So our screens were blank for the entire flight.

I appreciate it when professionals remove surprises by telling me what to expect at the dentist, the doctor, the car mechanic or accountant. When the doctor says “You’re going to feel a little pinch for a moment” I’m not surprised when it happens. When the VW mechanic says, “The timing belt is going to cost quite a bit” and he tells me the charge ahead of time, I’m not so surprised.

Jesus never surprises his disciples. Jesus discloses everything his disciples will ever experience. Jesus does not practice “bait & switch” by promising something easy and then letting us discover how hard it is. In our long series on Jesus’ expectations of his disciples, we have discovered how transparent Jesus is with those who follow him.

In the text for this coming Sunday (Matthew 10: 24-39) Jesus is about to send his disciples out into mission. But before sending them, he lets them know what to expect. You might want to read all of chapter 10 in anticipation of the sermon. In our text, Jesus puts 6 decisions before the disciples before they head out: no surprises!


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