Mission: Sharing God’s Pain
Luke 10: 1-12
Vs.1 "After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves".
An atheist scientist came to God and said, "We've figured out how to make a man without you."
God said, "OK, let me see you do it." So the atheist bent down to the ground to scoop up a handful of dirt. But God stopped him and said, "Oh, no you don't. Get your own dirt!"
Today, we have often come to believe that we are self-sufficient and through our words and actions we tend to deny the faith, assurance and calling that God has for each of us. In this passage, Christ calls the seventy-two to surrender to His will and commit to the mission of love He has entrusted them.
A Mission of Love
Mission is always in, through and for community.
The mission of God is a deliberate calling and appointment to communicate the presence of God in the world. In this passage, Jesus Christ chooses and commissions the seventy-two and even decides the towns they are to enter. In other words, the persons and places involved are all ordered by Christ. Therefore, the mission is not of one's choosing but is given and the called are to accept. It is in and through this experience that God will make His presence and love known. The seventy-two individuals were also called to be with each other; that is, the scattered were joined through Christ and given a new direction in life which would prepare others for the coming of Christ. The two person teams serve as witnesses to the truth and therefore affirm each other. Thus, we must also remember that mission is never meant to be a solitary affair but a corporate effort to work with each other to serve others in Christ Jesus.
Mission is the proclamation of God's love
Jesus Christ instructs the seventy-two not to "bring a purse or bag or sandals...". Instead, Christ asks them to greet the homes they visit in peace, enjoy a meal with them and fellowship. It is not that a purse (money) or bags and sandals are not needed or that the seventy-two do not possess these things. But Christ instructs them not to bring it on their journey. That is, the greater need for the mission is relationship through sharing and caring with others. The called are not expected to be self-sufficient but, to develop an interdependent relationship with the community they have been appointed to serve. Therefore, the mission is a cooperative, corporate and combined work; we are all in this together. In fact, if anything is lacking they are to share what they have with each other. It is in this experience of exchange or sharing that relationship is promoted and love may begin to be established. As such, mission is both giving and receiving. This standard of loving interaction becomes the primer for the coming of Jesus Christ and the reception of the gospel message. Mission cannot exist without love and relationship. Christ challenges us to prepare the hearts, minds and lives of all whom he has called us to serve through love so that He may enter. May the urgency of this message guide us each day in true mission.
May God bless me to obey His call to serve all, sacrifice what's necessary and share life with others for His glory. Amen.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
"If a commission by an earthly king is considered an honor, how can a commission by a Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice?"
— David Livingstone
— David Livingstone
Rev. Jaisen A. Thomas, St. Thomas MTC, Yonkers, NY