Monday, September 16, 2013

Let Us Pray...

Peasant farmer in Henan Province, China
[After a night of prayer] Jesus went up on a mountain and called out the ones he wanted to go with him... Then he appointed twelve of them and called them his apostles. They were to accompany him, and he would send them out to preach" ~ Read Mark 3: 13-19

He said to his disciples, "The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields." ~ Matthew 9: 37-38

My friend, Bob, called me last week and asked me to go to L. A. with him (Lower Alabama). He was getting his land ready for hunting season. I wrote about that yesterday.

Much Bob would do, I did not know how to do. Like: drive a big, orange Kubota tractor; hook up a bush-hog to its PTO; unhook a bush-hog from its PTO; attach a harrow, and fertilize a bass lake. By the way, who ever heard of fertilizing a lake? Nonetheless, he invited me to join him on the adventure. When we arrived, he instructed me on how to run the john-boat powered by an electric motor, what pattern to run across the lake, and how to distribute the fertilizer over the stern while navigating. I did it, and a few other helpful things while I was there. Bob thanked me and told me he would have gotten less done were I not there.

That story isn't a perfect metaphor, but it does help us learn something about the way Jesus went about things. For instance, the twelve Jesus chose were less than qualified for the job Christ had in mind (Actually, the selection made no sense at all: fishermen, tax collectors, hotheads, political zealots, and a corrupt treasurer). Not a professional "holy man" among them. Scripture's testimony also tells us that when the entire mission hung in the balance they scattered. Yet, Jesus stayed with them, even when they didn't stay with him. Why? Because the Church he was building would be built with the help of his partners. Period.

Isn't it obvious Jesus wouldn't/couldn't do it any other way? Look what Jesus said to his disciples when their work became overwhelming: Pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his field. Amazing, is it not? Jesus set that exact example of going to the Father in prayer for helpers, and then told the disciples to do the same thing.

And so it is for us! The mission God has in mind is always more than we can do on our own. We need to pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest. You probably know this first hand, that there is Kingdom work that is not getting done, because there is not the joining of hands and resources to help you get it done. Partners are not a luxury--they are a necessity. Remember too, that all of us workers will be just as imperfect as those Jesus chose, yet God's plan is to put us together, grow us together--heart and soul, and then combine our skills and resources for the sake of the advance of the Kingdom.

Let us pray...

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