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A Good Neighbor Policy

He instructed them to take nothing on the journey but a walking stick-no food, no traveling bag, not a coin in the purses in their belts
Mark 6:7-13

Sermon Topic Good Neighbor Policy

Sermon Week Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle B

Scripture Summary Mark 6:8


From time to time most of us are bitten by the "travel bug," and usually the bite is not without its sting. One important function of a good "travel book" or travel agent is to anticipate the hazards and the hassles travelers are likely to encounter and to suggest ways and means of avoiding them. Even so, it is a rare trip on which nothing goes wrong. The story is told of a traveler who boarded a train in New York City. Immediately he went to the porter and said, "Look, I want to get off in Washington, D.C., but once I'm asleep it's very difficult for me to wake up. Sometimes I say nasty things I don't really mean. Here is five dollars. Please, no matter what I say, don't be offended; just wake me up and put me off the train in Washington." Hours later, he awakened as the train pulled into the station at Richmond, Virginia, 100 miles past Washington, his destination. The man was furious. He found the porter and angrily denounced him for his incompetence. The train conductor took the porter aside. "What happened?" he asked. "I've never seen anyone that mad!" To which the porter replied, "You should have seen the fellow I put off in Washington."

Travel hazards are such that even the experienced traveler's best-laid plans can go awry. It should not be surprising to learn that the English word "travel" comes from the French word meaning "suffer." Yet, despite the rigors of shopping and packing, of crowded terminals and overcrowded highways, of money exchange and diet change, of passporting and transporting and despite the problems of lost baggage, missed connections, strange foods and language barriers, the benefits of a travel experience can make it all worthwhile. Moreover, what we get out of a trip depends largely on what we put into it. The quality of one's journey to a foreign land will neatly parallel the quality of one's journey through life. The chest-thumping hometown bigot is not likely to find a trip among strange people with strange customs a rewarding experience. [...]

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