Carry the Message … Sunday, July 7

English: Author G.K. Chesterton August 12, 1904

G.K. Chesterton.

Luke 10:1-9

      At that time the Lord appointed seventy-two others whom he sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit.  He said to them, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.  Go on your way; behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves.  Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals; and greet no one along the way. Into whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this household.’ If a peaceful person lives there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you. Stay in the same house and eat and drink what is offered to you, for the laborer deserves his payment.  Do not move about from one house to another. Whatever town you enter and they welcome you, eat what is set before you, cure the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God is at hand for you.’”
      It sounds as though we’re supposed to be rather mild and nondescript. Not calling attention to ourselves but rather calling attention to the One Who is coming. Jesus. Jesus was about to visit several places and He sent out His followers to prepare the way, to get the people ready to receive Him. The truth is, He’s going to visit again.
      It always amazes me how little changes over time. We are still nondescript even though we have cathedrals and well-known saints like Mother Teresa and enough literature to cover the planet. Why? Why, with all that and more are we “nondescript”? Well, for one reason, we’ve been around so long at this point that the world has gotten used to our being here and takes no notice. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Jesus did, remember, send folks out to call attention to His coming and not our own presence. Of course it can be said that our being here should remind people of Him and that takes a certain amount of calling attention to self. And that’s true. But self is still secondary at best, isn’t it?
      “Like lambs among wolves.” Now THAT doesn’t sound very promising, does it? But it is because once again we call attention to Him, the Lamb taken to slaughter. Every martyrdom, every unkind word aimed at us, every pin prick delivered by the world, every lie told about us, every underhanded attempt to misuse us is a reminder to the world of what was done to Him. It’s not our problem if the world doesn’t put two and two together. We’ve provided, by His Grace, the math lesson and so done our part. What others do with the lesson delivered is up to them.
      We offer peace to a world sadly in need of it, both on an international, national, and personal level. We don’t offer the world our peace, we offer it a peace beyond understanding. We offer His peace. Some accept and we praise God for that. Others turn a blind eye and a deaf ear and we pray all the more for them.
      All of this and more to get across one point. “The kingdom of God is at hand for you.” And it’s closer now than ever, the need is greater now than ever, and our job, His commission to us, is more pressing, both for us and the world, than ever.
      “What the gods are supposed to be, what the priests are commissioned to say, is not a sensational secret like what those running messengers of the Gospel had to say. Nobody else except those messengers has any Gospel; nobody else has any good news; for the simple reason that nobody else has any news.
Those runners gather impetus as they run. Ages afterwards they still speak as if something had just happened. They have not lost the speed and momentum of messengers; they have hardly lost, as it were, the wild eyes of witnesses. In the Catholic Church, which is the cohort of the message, there are still those headlong acts of holiness that speak of something rapid and recent; a self-sacrifice that startles the world like a suicide. But it is not a suicide; it is not pessimistic; it is still as optimistic as St. Francis of the flowers and birds. It is newer in spirit than the newest schools of thought; and it is almost certainly on the eve of new triumphs. For these men serve a mother who seems to grow more beautiful as new generations rise up and call her blessed. We might sometimes fancy that the Church grows younger as the world grows old.” ― G.K. Chesterton, The Everlasting Man.
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Published in: on July 7, 2013 at 5:05 am  Comments Off on Carry the Message … Sunday, July 7  
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