Jessica Albritton, NextGen Minister LHBC
After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go. And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. Go your way; behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. Carry no moneybag, no knapsack, no sandals, and greet no one on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house!’ And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest upon him. But if not, it will return to you. And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages. Do not go from house to house. Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you. Heal the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ But whenever you enter a town and they do not receive you, go into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near.’ I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.
I love going on a trip, but if I’m honest there is one thing I always dread about traveling anywhere. I hate packing. Crumpled clothes in a suitcase, shampoo tossed in a bag hoping it doesn’t leak, cramming that last item in and crossing your fingers that the zipper holds, and then there is always the question of what if I forget something?
In Luke chapter 10 Jesus sends out a group of seventy-two followers, two at a time, to spread the news about the kingdom of God. In verse 2 Jesus tells them to pray earnestly for the Lord to send workers to the harvest because “the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.” I love this, mainly because it helps me to remember the significance of prayer in the Christian walk. If not careful we can fall into the trap of having prayer be an afterthought but here the Lord reminds us that prayer should be the very first thing we do! Some people interpreted this as saying we need to pray for missionaries, and to a degree that’s correct, but more than that I believe every Christ follower is called to be a worker. Matthew 28:18-20 tell us that as believers we are all to go and make disciples. I heard it said best by a pastor once, “you can’t pray for God to send workers for very long before the Lord sends you.”
In verse 4 Jesus instructs the seventy-two, “Carry no moneybag, no knapsack, no sandals, and greet no one on the road.” I don’t know about you but this gives me a bit of anxiety. You mean to tell me that I need to go from my home, for an unforeseeable time, to a place not familiar to me, and take absolutely nothing? No clothes, no money, nothing? I am very ‘go with the flow’ but this takes it to a whole new level. I may be down to jump in the car at the last minute to go on a spur of the moment road trip but I at least grab a bag before I head out the door. I have always admired the seventy-two for that very reason, they just went to share the good news. What tremendous faith they had to have in order to trust that God would supply their every need.
Now to be honest, it seems a little silly to be talking about going anywhere at all in light of all that’s happening around the world today. But I don’t believe the ‘going’ has as much to do with us as it does with the gospel itself. The gospel is to go forth even when we cannot. While our circumstances may look different the point remains the same. God has given us a task: pray for the harvest, stay focused on the mission, and share the good news! How are you continuing to ‘take the gospel’ to your friends and neighbors?
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Heavenly Father, your word tells us that the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Lord I pray for an army of workers to rise up to the mission set before us all. Thank you for the incredible opportunity to be able to share the good news of the gospel with those around me. Help me to see new opportunities to be a light for you each and every day. In Jesus name, amen!
MEMORY VERSES OF THE WEEK:
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.