Tuesday, October 18, 2011

One living sermon is worth 100 explanations

The Christian ideal has not been found tried and found wanting, it has been found difficult and left untried. -- GK Chesterton

Gospel text (Lk 10,1-9):
The Lord Jesus appointed seventy-two disciples
whom he sent ahead of him in pairs
to every town and place he intended to visit.
He said to them,
"The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;
so ask the master of the harvest
to send out laborers for his harvest.
Go on your way;
behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves.
Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals;
and greet no one along the way.
Into whatever house you enter,
first say, "Peace to this household."
If a peaceful person lives there,
your peace will rest on him;
but if not, it will return to you.
Stay in the same house and eat and drink what is offered to you,
for the laborer deserves payment.
Do not move about from one house to another.
Whatever town you enter and they welcome you,
eat what is set before you,
cure the sick in it and say to them,
'The Kingdom of God is at hand for you.'"

In sending out the 72, Jesus also is relying on a few good people. I think He also is trying to instill an attitude, a culture, in how these disciples should interact with the people they encounter. When he sends them as they are, without a money bag, or sack or sandals, I think He tells us that the outer layers of who we seem to be is not as important as who we are at our core, our commitment, our attitude of peacefulness. We all have baggage we could (and do) carry with us, but Jesus says try to leave all that aside. Just go. Just do. Just stay focused. Don’t stop to socialize, just do what you are sent to do. Don’t waste time on those who reject you, focus on those who are receptive to you. Be zealous. Be driven.

As it is the middle of October and fall is upon us here with the leaves changing colors, let us remember God’s call for us to spread his Word because “the harvest is abundant but the laborers are few” (Luke 10:2). There are countless opportunities to change the world, may we make a small yet powerful contribution to God’s immeasurable harvest by helping to spread the news of the Kingdom of God.

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