June 20, 2017
"Then he said to his disciples, 'The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.'" (Matthew 9: 37)
Jesus asked his disciples to join him in praying for more help to reach out to the crowds of people seeking God's good news and healing. I wonder if the disciples' next prayer time was filled with asking God for workers. Because, boom, those prayers were answered in the next chapter. Jesus called his disciples together to let them know, "Hey, I found the workers! They are YOU."
He gave them the authority to do some pretty amazing things. Then he sent them out to do them.
"As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give." (Matthew 10: 7-8)
Today there is still much work to be done. Rarely are most of us called upon to do anything as miraculous as heal the sick, drive out demons or raise the dead. Yet the opportunities that present themselves may seem just as overwhelming... Teach Sunday School, volunteer at the homeless shelter, be a gift worker for the capital campaign or annual stewardship drive.
The next time the need seems far beyond your skill or comfort level, focus first on your authority. You have it from God. Focus also on what you have been given: forgiveness, healing, love, grace, salvation, peace.
What is volunteering if not acting in gratitude to share what you have? You have all the things mentioned above, plus other gifts unique to you such as knowledge, experience, compassion. You bring those talents (which were given to you by God), along with all the gifts that Jesus gives, and his authority. Wow, what couldn't you do?