by Carolyn M. Anderson
Jesus selects workers to go where he intends to go. He has commissioned twelve and now commissions seventy more! Then as now, there is more to be done than there are workers to do it. And the sense of urgency is great. We live in a time of enormous opportunity. We pray because the need is enormous and the laborers are few. But in praying for more workers we then make ourselves available because after praying we are told to go! Get on our way! The work will not be easy. We will enter a hostile world that will not treat us as if we are special. We can anticipate difficulties and problems.
As disciples of Christ we cannot permit ourselves to be bogged down with a lot of stuff; personal comfort is less important than the reason for being sent. As Christ’s followers we spread the good news, not gossip or chit-chat. The urgency and enormity of the mission allows no time for delay.
We accept hospitality when offered. Those who receive us favorably are people of peace; those who don’t will miss out, because we will continue to spread Christ’s message and mission. There is no need to impose this message on anyone. Stay with those who first offer a place, rather than appear to be comparison shopping to find out who provides the best offer. We express gratitude for whatever we have.
So the seventy set out with a threefold mission: (1) to eat what is set before them, (2) to heal the sick, (3) to proclaim the kingdom. In what ways are these still the church’s mission? How has that mission changed? How do you participate in that mission?
We may be welcome; we may not be. The people who receive God’s messengers will experience healing and discover the nearness of God’s reign. Those who do not welcome the messengers do not realize the opportunity they miss- God’s kingdom at their doorstep.
Gracious God, grant that I may hunger to lovingly share your message in all of the places you intend me to go. Amen.