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dust to dust

let it go

Wednesday's healing service celebrated the lives of John and Charles Wesley. Made famous, of course, for being the unintentional founders of Methodism and for writing piles of great hymns. The gospel lesson for the day was Jesus' sending out the Apostles to preach the good news and to heal.

Key to the passage is his admonition to "shake the dust off your feet" if they are not welcomed. It suggests that not even the dust of a town that is ambivalent will stay with the Apostles and with the message. They wash their hands of it. They dismiss them with a gesture. On the one hand, you could say it is harsh and contrary to Jesus' radical inclusiveness. On the other, it's a bit of practical psychological advice to Christians wandering through life--do what you can, offer what you have, be open to the lives and experiences of others, but don't sweat it when they don't do the same. Recognize, as Niebuhr's "Serenity Prayer" says, the difference between the things you can change and the things you can't, and be at peace.