I'm taking a break from reflecting on the Revised Common Lectionary. Instead, I'm reading the Apocrypha for a while.

Monday, June 28, 2010

A Few Laborers, a Reflection on Luke 10:1-11

"After this," the chapter begins. I looked back to see what "this" had been.

The instructions to the seventy (or, in some sources, seventy-two) in 10:1-12 echo in several ways the instructions to the twelve in 9:1-6.

People need help. You can help them even without a lot of resources. Not everybody will appreciate your effort.

That was then, and that is now, too. The harvest is still plentiful, and the laborers are still few. We still do not have what seems a sufficient amount of money or experience or talent or knowledge to make a dent in the massive amount of need confronting us.

Also still true is that we are called to cure the sick--that could mean supporting hospitals that actually provide care for indigents (some Protestant denominations do not). And, also still true is that we are called to announce the good news (verse 9).

The first hearers of Luke's gospel would have already heard of another significant occasion of 70 disciples. When Moses needed help dealing with the needs of the people on that long wilderness trek, the Lord told him to appoint 70 elders to help. The Lord told Moses, "I will come down and talk with you there; and I will take some of the spirit that is on you and put it on them; and they shall bear the burden of the people along with you so hat you will not bear it all by yourself" (Numbers 11:1-25).

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