"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).
God of miracles, you are continually working wonders! We are amazed by your extravagant love and kindness. You invite us be mindful of everything that you have provided. Free us from worrying about what we do not have. Open our eyes to recognize your children who are in need. May these gifts bountifully bless those in our community, we pray through Christ our Lord. Amen. (John 6:1-21)
July Offertory Prayers were written by the Rev.Rosanna Anderson, Associate Director of Stewardship at Discipleship Ministries, The United Methodist Church.