Summary: A sermon for the 5th Sunday after pentecost
5th Sunday after Pentecost
Luke 10:1-11, 16-20
"Calling on Others"
"After this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to come. And he said to them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and salute no one on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, ’Peace be to this house!’ And if a son of peace is there, your peace shall rest upon him; but if not, it shall return to you. And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages; do not go from house to house. Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you; heal the sick in it and say to them, ’The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ But whenever you enter a town and they do not receive you, go into its streets and say, ’Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet, we wipe off against you; nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near.’" Luke 10:1-11, RSV.
""He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me." The seventy returned with joy, saying, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!" And he said to them, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you; but rejoice that your names are written in heaven."" Luke 10:16-20, RSV.
Grace and Peace to you from our Lord and Saviour, Jesus who is the Christ. Amen
There was an old farmer, ragged and barefooted, who sat on the steps of his tumble-down shack, chewing on a stem of Timothy grass. He was approached by a passing stranger who was searching for a cool drink of water. Wishing to start a conversation and get acquainted with this farmer, the stranger asked, " How is your cotton coming in this weather?"
"Ain’t got none", replied the farmer.
"Didn’t you plant any?" asked the frowning stranger.
"Nope," said the farmer, "fraid of weevils."
"Well," asked the newcomer, "how is your corn?"
"Didn’t plant none," replied the man, "fraid there warn ’t goin to be no rain."
"Really, what did you plant?’ asked the puzzled man.
"Nothing," said the farmer. "I jest played it safe!!!"
When a church member was asked by St. Peter as he approached the Pearly gates how many seeds of faith, how many seeds of the gospel did he plant while on earth, he replied, "none, I jest played it safe. I was afraid that some would think I was trying to show them I was better than they were. Others knew I wasn’t, I didn’t want to be called a hypocrite. Besides, St. Peter, I really didn’t know all that I should of about faith, Jesus, and salvation to be telling others about it. And come to think of it, isn’t that what we pay the Pastor, to do, go out and plant those seeds of faith, to go out and win souls for Christ. But tell me St. Peter, why, as I look beyond the gates here, I see so few people moving about.
St. Peter relied, "Oh, that is easy, there were so few laborers, so few seeds that were sown, that the harvest was never taken in."
As you can plainly tell this morning, our gospel lesson concerns a subject that we especially in the Lutheran church have not dealt with in a very effect way, the subject of witnessing, the subject of telling others about Jesus Christ. Many of us are like the farmer in our story, who just played it safe. He wasn’t willing to risk, he wasn’t willing to take a chance, so he had no crop, he had no harvest.
Many of us are in that same boat when it comes to witnessing for Jesus, when it comes to telling others about Christ, we aren’t willing to risk, we aren’t willing to plant a crop, so then there is no harvest. We are afraid what others might think, we are afraid of our own lack of faith or knowledge. We are afraid we might be called names or made fun of, and further we don’t see the task of witnessing as our responsibility, surely it has to be some one else’s job, not mine.