40 Day Walk with God — April 21, 2014Posted: April 21, 2014
Day 1 —
EXPECTING GREATER THINGS
Discover, Equip, Connect and Send
Luke 10: 1-11
After these things, the Lord commissioned seventy-two others and sent them on ahead in pairs to every city and place he was about to go. He said to them, “The harvest is bigger than you can imagine, but there are few workers. Therefore, plead with the Lord of the harvest to send out workers for his harvest. Go! Be warned, though, that I’m sending you out as lambs among wolves. Carry no wallet, no bag, and no sandals. Don’t even greet anyone along the way. Whenever you enter a house, first say, ‘May peace be on this house.’ If anyone there shares God’s peace, then your peace will rest on that person. If not, your blessing will return to you. Remain in this house, eating and drinking whatever they set before you, for workers deserve their pay. Don’t move from house to house. Whenever you enter a city and its people welcome you, eat what they set before you. Heal the sick who are there, and say to them, ‘God’s kingdom has come upon you.’ Whenever you enter a city and the people don’t welcome you, go out into the streets and say, ‘As a complaint against you, we brush off the dust of your city that has collected on our feet. But know this: God’s kingdom has come to you.’
That’s the number of people Jesus sent out in Luke 10. Freshly commissioned, he sent them out in pairs. He sent them ahead, into all the places he was to go.
He said to them: “The harvest is bigger than you can imagine, but the workers are few. Go. Beware. I’m sending you out as lambs among wolves.”
Jesus says, travel light. “Carry no wallet, no bag, and no sandals. Greet no one on the way.” Seriously, Jesus? No stuff? Don’t talk? Can you believe Jesus found 72 willing to travel with nothing?
That is 6 x 12
Half of 144
What’s going on here? What is going on is clearly a signal to us that Jesus called more than the initial 12 disciples. Indeed, it seems as if Jesus invited all of his followers into the mission of God in the world. Over the last two years we have named God’s call upon us to see our communities as the mission field. We have named each congregation as a mission station.
So what might it mean to be willing to be one of the 72?
Here’s what I see:
1. The harvest is plentiful.
2. There is more work than workers to do the work.
3. Jesus teaches us to pray about the harvest.
4. It requires active participation.
5. The mission of the Church is not limited to a “few chosen.”
6. The mission of the Church will not be easy. In fact, it may be dangerous.
7. Stay focused. Disciples are focused on God’s work; bringing peace to those who are receptive.
8. The host sets the agenda, not the guest.
9. Jesus acknowledges there will be failure.
10. Perseverance is a key skill in mission work.
11. Finally, Jesus reminds us: The kingdom of God has come near.
Are there 72 among us who are willing to step into this future bearing witness to the love of God in this world and speak God’s truth.
We are seeking to live into this new future:
The mission of the Nashville Area is to
discover, equip, connect and send
lay and clergy leaders who shape congregations
that offer Jesus Christ to a hurting world,
one neighborhood at a time.
72 leaders who are willing to shape congregations that offer Jesus Christ to a hurting world, one neighborhood at a time.
Holy Lord, open our hearts and our minds to be disciples who are willing to go as people of peace. Teach us boldness of heart and mind and soul. Give to us 72 willing souls, Lord, and we will change the world. So show us now, while there is still time, so that your kingdom may come upon the earth as it is in heaven. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.
Bishop William T. McAlilly