October 18, 2019

Sacrament for Failure

October 18, 2019


Luke 10:10-12
This weekend’s scripture: Luke 10:1-12


My feelings of failure tend to linger, sometimes for a long time. I now know that if I fail, it may not be my fault, especially when trying to help another. 
Ministry is not using a Harry Potter magical wand.  Prayer is not an incantation zapping another person.  All people have free will.  Others may reject our efforts.  If they rejected Jesus’ efforts to help them, why do we expect that people will treat us differently (John 15:18-25)?
Jesus instructs his disciples that, if the people do not accept them, shake the dust off their feet. This action becomes a sacramental act to remove failure from our lives.
In Jesus’ day, when a person reentered Israel from another country, they shook the dust off their feet because to the Jews, Gentile land was profane, and Israel was sacred.  Thus, they were to shake the profane off their feet to prevent making the holy land unclean.
When we fail for whatever reason, acknowledge it, shake it off, and move onto the new things that the Holy Spirit leads us.  Otherwise, we focus on our past failures instead of the leading of the Holy Spirit in the present.


  1. What failures of your past come to mind?
  2. How do your failures hold you back from doing Christ’s work? 
  3. What failures do you need to shake off your feet?
  4. In what ways might you let Christ help you learn from your failures?


  1. What is failure?
  2. In what ways have your family members failed?
  3. In what ways can failures affect your family negatively?
  4. How might one “shake the dust off the feet?”
  5. How might one transform a failure into positive experiences?


Most loving, gracious, Lord, help me let go of the negative baggage of failures and disappointments while looking to you to lead me forward.  In your gracious name, I pray. Amen.