The Mission of the Seventy
10 After this the Lord appointed seventy[a] others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. 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. 3 Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves. 4 Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and greet no one on the road. 5 Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house!’ 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. 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. 8 Whenever you enter a town and its people welcome you, eat what is set before you; 9 cure the sick who are there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’[b]
As long as I have known my Mother-in-Law, she has been a worrier. We have a joke in our house that we can just tell her our worries and she’ll free us up to live without the worry anymore, because she is doing all the worrying FOR us! But in reality, worrying just gets in the way of our close relationship with Christ, because worrying is the very thing Jesus tells these early evangelists NOT to do as he sends them to unknown destinations to spread the word of God to unbelievers in a time where it was inherently dangerous to do so. Sending them out “like lambs in the midst of wolves” speaks of Jesus knowing full well the dangers that each of us face as we carry our torch of faith into the broken and misguided world in which we live. Yet he asks us to press on, just as he directed these seventy chosen faithful when he told them to stay put, no matter the welcome.
But let’s be real. If I am in an uncomfortable setting, the last thing I want to do is to stay there! And who likes to be rejected when we try to form new relationships and step out of our comfort zones? But if we stand firm in our beliefs and listen to God as He calls us into the world to do the work of the Holy Spirit, even when we we are sincerely uncomfortable, He reminds us that we are sharing the Kingdom and our works may not produce the fruit we want, but rather what HE wants. And when you think about it, growth is uncomfortable!
Stay strong, dear followers of Jesus. For as we go out into the world, Jesus reminds us that in doing so, “The kingdom of God has come near to you.” How can we want more for our world if we worry about going out into that world? We are armed with faith and love and that really is all we need to make a difference.
Father, send us out into your Kingdom to do your good works. We give our worries up to you. Guide us and protect us in Jesus’ name. Amen.