Scriptures: Luke 10:1-11
Let us pray:
May the words of my mouth and the meditations of all our hearts be acceptable to you, O Lord our Rock and our Redeemer, Amen.
Have you ever poured over old photos or year books and found the immediacy of those old still frame photographs bring back memories that you had forgotten? Those precious memories are almost forgotten, dimming with the passage of time. The same can hold true with our life of faith. Commentator Richard Shaffer writes,
“For many believers, the immediacy of the kingdom dims with the passage of time. We are essentially very practical people, living in our own context or setting, changing as the situation dictates, yet living within parameters that we can see, touch, and feel. The coming of the kingdom demands a change in our perspective. Whether that means living in the presence of Christ today or living with him in the hereafter, we must begin to see the challenges of life through a lens provided by God, rather than a perspective built by human endeavor. Time, however, numbs us. The passing of each year leads us, chronologically, away from the promise of the coming kingdom, and dims our sense of expectation.”
What would happen if we shifted our perspective and put ourselves in the shoes of the 70 sent out to prepare others for the arrival of Christ? Would our countenance change from a dedicated Sunday pew-sitter to an ambassador of the Kingdom of Heaven itself? Would that galvanize you to Christian witness, Christian action in the world?
After all, as Christians, we are the Lord’s messengers, called and appointed to out into the world and prepare the way. There is a bit of relief in putting ourselves in the shoes of the 70, though.
“No longer is the burden of persuasion on us, for we are not the focus…very clearly the focus of our message is on the coming of Christ and our call to live each day in his name. Our authority is not in our status, possessions, or abilities; but, like those first messengers, we are to encourage everyone to follow and submit in the name of our Lord.”
What would happen if we did simply that? We wouldn’t have to proselytize or pressure anyone into conversion or belief. If we simply encouraged everyone to inquire of the Lord – to test the waters of faith – to live for a moment like God really does know our names, and to be open to a gentle and loving Savior who welcomes all into a divine invitation to dance?
Commentator David Lose points out that,
“Jesus does not commission the seventy to prepare a harvest; that remains God’s responsibility. Rather, Jesus commissions his disciples (1) to gather the harvest in and (2) to pray that other laborers will join them in this important work. While our contexts for ministry may have changed from that of the seventy, Jesus’ commission to his followers remains essentially the same. God is responsible for the growth of our communities. We are called to be open to this growth; to plan, organize, and work in a way that anticipates, rather than impedes, such growth; and to pray for and invite others to join us in gathering the harvest God has prepared.”
Jesus says, “the harvest is plentiful.”
Come, therefore, to the table and be fed,
For the work that lays ahead.
Amen? May it be so.
 Richard J. Shaffer, JR. Feasting on the Word: Preaching the Revised Common Lectionary – Feasting on the Word – Year C, Volume 3: Pentecost and Season After Pentecost 1 (Propers 3-16).
 David J. Lose. Feasting on the Word: Preaching the Revised Common Lectionary – Feasting on the Word – Year C, Volume 3: Pentecost and Season After Pentecost 1 (Propers 3-16).