The Holy Gospel according to St. Luke
10:1-11, 16-20 Glory to You O Lord!
10:1 After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. 10:2 He said to them, "The harvest is
plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. 10:3 Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst
of wolves. 10:4 Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and greet no one on the road. 10:5 Whatever house you enter, first say, 'Peace to this house!' 10:6 And if anyone is there who shares
in peace, your peace will rest on that person; but if not, it will return to you. 10:7 Remain in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide, for the laborer deserves to be
paid. Do not move about from house to house. 10:8 Whenever you enter a town and its people welcome you, eat what is set before you; 10:9 cure the sick who are there, and say to them,
'The kingdom of God has come near to you.' 10:10 But whenever you enter a town and they do not welcome you, go out into its streets and say, 10:11 'Even the dust of your town that clings
to our feet, we wipe off in protest against you. Yet know this: the kingdom of God has come near.' ....10:16 "Whoever listens to you listens to me, and whoever rejects you rejects me,
and whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me." 10:17 The seventy returned with joy, saying, "Lord, in your name even the demons submit to us!" 10:18 He said to them, "I watched
Satan fall from heaven like a flash of lightning. 10:19 See, I have given you authority to tread on snakes and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing will hurt you.
10:20 Nevertheless, do not rejoice at this, that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven." This is the Gospel of the Lord. Praise to You O Christ!
Jesus says we are to go and proclaim his kingdom:
–going out two by two!!
The dictionary says that a partner is a person who takes part or engages in some activity in common with another (or others) ; one of two or more persons engaged in the same business
activity or enterprise – sharing its profits and associated risks.....as each partner is an agent for the other......and is equally liable for the debts of the firm. A husband and wife
are partners in marriage –together they will share the benefits and associated risks of rearing children, establishing a household, supporting one another in good times and bad. True
partners remain faithful to one another and seek the welfare of the other......the result is satisfying and mutually beneficial.
Here's an interesting usage: A Partner In the Nautical World, "is one of the reinforcing Timbers used to support a mast or other upright and to strengthen the deck at the point where
the mast enters." A Partner in the building of a ship's mast is that critical beam or beams that uphold the mast. They have to be very strong and reliable! This makes an excellent
illustration of the kind of partnering that Christ is looking for to build his kingdom. He needs his Disciples to so partner with one another that they uphold and strengthen and remain
ever strong in the greatest storms.
As we are partners with christ and one another here in our church family ..... we are about the business of strengthening and supporting one another. This is especially necessary when
one is in the business of catching the winds of the holy spirit and plying this craft (the church) on a steady course that is faithful to communicate or demonstrate the gospel.....when
one member is acting as the sail mast -- then we ought to all act as partners and rally around that member (or members) of our congregation and to support her/him (or them) rally around
that Member (or members) of our Congregation and to Support Her/Him (or them) in that endeavor and we must work to support and enable that person to Preach the Gospel or to Demonstrate
the Gospel as we are in Partnership Together in Christ! This is most certainly Jesus' calling to us–uphold, strengthen, encourage and support–physically, emotionally, financially and
spiritually (by our prayers) those who are on the front lines – Preaching, Caring, Ministering in the name of Christ......this is our Calling as Christians!
I think this is why Jesus sent out those early disciples, the seventy, two by two....he knew that when one might become discouraged, the other would act to encourage, when one felt
tired, the other would yet have energy, when one had nothing to say, the other could chime in with the right words to tell about the coming of the kingdom–god's power was at work in the
fellowship and partnering of those early disciples – and we note that they were very successful!
What do we do with our partners here at Elias?? What kind of partnership do we share? Are we supporting the ministry of each other–do we see ourselves as individual agents–or as yoked
together with others in that supportive partnership with Christ?
I was intrigued that the Disciples were "sent ...on ahead of Jesus in pairs"....so the thought of being "Partnered" (as instructed by Jesus) for the purpose of spreading and
proclaiming the good news about the kingdom of God -- where Jesus himself intended to go -- is on my mind. . . .
Some final thoughts may include:
- None of us is alone in this Gospel Work. It is not a solitary thing, but a living and cooperative work of Telling others about Jesus. We don't do it alone, but we do it as a family
unit....with Christ as our head.
- We Need our fellow Partners–We need each other, to share the burden, the motivation, and the joy of success!* Think back to the idea of business partners–in a Business, there is a
shared investment–and investments necessarily have COSTS and Risks! Some investments that partners may endeavor on together are short-term and others are long–spanning/long term
investments, perhaps without immediate tangible results. That's like our long- term ministry here at Elias....some of us, like our ancestors of old, will never see the Profits of our
present labors, but we ask that the Lord Jesus will take our faith offerings and use them for his kingdom purposes, that will last into Eternity.
On this Independence Day Sunday, we are mindful of our ancestors buried here in the Elias cemetery – Could the Revolutionary Fathers and Mothers of our Nation have foreseen how their
investment of life, wealth and blood would have a long-term dividend in this great nation of ours? Which, as we should remember on Independence Day, is a blessing to the other Nations of
the World? I think it is helpful to Remember these saints of old who once sat where you are this morning...they invested in the ministry of this Church, they invested in the interests of
a new nation coming into being. Some of them never saw the reward for their labors and sacrifice, but you and I are this fruit. Let us keep this in mind when we are challenged in days
ahead to invest in the future or to sow our seeds in places or with people we've not formerly known.
Also, we must remember that there does come a time of Harvest and of celebrating that the Partnership has Produced Fruit.
We hear this in the text when Jesus remarks to his Disciples (from vs. 18): ""I watched Satan fall from heaven like a flash of lightning."
It is apparent here that Jesus is pleased too(!) with the disciples progress. **and before I forget to mention...We need our own family's Support and Encouragement (as our Hymn of the
Day will suggest, **we need a Mother's Love and Faith to Show us the Way to Heaven–this also is a matter of Partnering with Christ as we Partner with those closest to us.) Mothers and
Fathers, Uncles and Aunts.....Show the Good Example to your Children, nieces and Nephews.....that they would recognize that They are Partners Too!!
- We may have partners from other churches
- We don't have to be fully degreed nor qualified, other than faith in Jesus, trust in God and rely on the Spirit
- We go -- Two by Two -- obediently to Christ, like the animals that loaded themselves onto Noah's Ark!
- Did the Disciples Take Comfort in knowing that Jesus himself, would follow up after they did the front-line work??
Perhaps this is the big Challenge for us...we never want to blaze a new trail -- we tend to be at ease as Followers--ok, Pastor, you go first! or let someone else start that new
ministry.....and we'll take one Sunday or one Supper....to be in Jesus Front-Line of Gospel preachers, it does take some boldness and some God Power to get the ball rolling. Jesus says,
get out there and with no Supplies or Comforts....that takes faith!
Let us Pray. Most Gracious Lord, you held those people together so long ago when a new nation was being born. You kept them in the Saving Grace of God through Jesus Christ our Lord,
even as Bombs blasted overhead–they Celebrated the Eucharist and found life to the fullest. So enable us Lord to bear with one another and support this Gospel Ministry wherein you have
called us...that Hell might be crushed underfoot -- to the Glory of God! AMEN.
I Guess Jesus knows we need to get out of our Comfort Zones if we're going to really get some Gospel Work done! Blessings to you as you go in the name of Christ – Preach the Gospel,
tell about the good news of the kingdom and heal the sick. Peace to you. Pr Jon
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