So I have been struggling with today’s sermon. I know what I have to say, but I have been struggling to say it. It’s probably going to step on a lot of toes (it already has mine, several times), but it needs to be said: the Harvest is plentiful, the workers are few…what are you doing about it? I read this in my personal Bible Study this morning, and it hit me hard:
“And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘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.’” -Matthew 9:35-38
The sheep still need the Shepherd. We’re still called to ask the Lord of the Harvest to send workers to the field, but we’re also called to BE the workers! Loved ones, Jesus didn’t die so we can fill a spot on a pew on Sunday Morning. Jesus died so that we might live through Him, not just one day a week, but every day! And we have been rescued, we have been a part of that harvest, and so we should go back out and ask the Lord of the Harvest, like Isaiah did, “Here am I, Lord, send me!” We should ask the Lord of the Harvest for workers; but also ask the Lord of the Harvest where we should work the plow, or water, or weed, or gather. And He who called us to the field is faithful to see us through to the end of the Harvest!
These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay. Acquire no gold or silver or copper for your belts, no bag for your journey, or two tunics or sandals or a staff, for the laborer deserves his food. And whatever town or village you enter, find out who is worthy in it and stay there until you depart. As you enter the house, greet it. And if the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it, but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town. Truly, I say to you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town.
“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles. When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next, for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
“A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household.