“The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” — Luke 10:2
By the time Luke’s gospel was written (after A.D. 60), the church had entered into a new generation of believers. They had limited memories of its start and development. Memories of Jerusalem, Antioch, and Paul’s missionary journeys were fading. Much had changed. Many of the believers wondered what God was up to now, and why Jesus hadn’t returned yet in their lifetime (see 2 Peter 3). They wondered what it meant to be the church now.
Many generations of people since then have asked similar questions. In the story about Jesus sending out 72 followers, we gain some insight into what it means to be the church. We discover the answer when we go into the neighborhoods and communities where we live. We discover the genius of what God has been about since the very beginning—God is at work in the everyday, ordinary places where his people live.
Still today, we are invited to live out and to share the love of God as a community committed to love and peace and justice. We exist not just for ourselves but to practice what it looks like to be the body of Christ, as people being formed into the image of the Son. We live out the story as God’s missionary people—serving as a demonstration of what God plans to do in and for all creation in Christ Jesus.
God of mission, we want to live into the calling that we are your missionary people. Give us eyes to see the spaces into which you lead us, and give us courage to walk there. Amen.