Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
In our reading from Luke 10 the Lord sends out a group of disciples who are to be cared for on account of their work. They are to heal, teach, and do all the kind of things that Jesus has bee doing. They bring peace into the places where they are staying, and if rejected, they leave and don’t acknowledge God’s blessing upon the place where they stayed.
What does this have to do with a modern missionary, such as myself? It’s a hard passage. It tells me that I shouldn’t worry so much about my livelihood. God’s workers are worthy of their keep. Those who are receptive to the ministry which is faithfully carried on in the name of Christ are to step forward and support the workers. Believing this message takes more courage than most of us have. I recall interviewing a Christian school teacher who had been asked to teach at a salary which left him well below the poverty level. The board of the school (where he did not go to work) asked him why he didn’t have enough trust in God to know his needs would be provided. His response was that his creditors didn’t have the same level of trust that he did. A fair response. The holder of my mortgage may not believe that God’s people will supply the required payments. All too often that hesitance has proven valid.
What do we do? As we read in our passage from Galatians 6 this week, God’s people take care of others, especially in the household of faith. As we recapture this idea of a Christian community which values the ministry of Word and Sacrament and cares for God’s servants, we will improve our reputation before our world. We will find that they see and know the Lord and His people fulfill their responsibilities and care for one another. God’s messengers can go out and do their work freely, knowing that they will be cared for.
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