“Go! I am sending you out.” — Luke 10:3
“Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me.” – Albert Orsbom (1916)
The Good News is enough. The Holy Spirit is alive and well. I think it comes down to this: we need to learn to love like Jesus. We are to be “sent” people . . . and unfortunately we aren’t going into a carnival-like environment where everyone loves Christians. We are sent out “like lambs among wolves” (Luke 10:3). I believe this means living vulnerable lives, allowing others to see our struggles. We need to take our hospitality to the streets, where we will rely on the hospitality of others. This might be scary. But Jesus has given us his Spirit. And we are only going “where he himself” intends to go (Luke 10:1). What will we take? It doesn’t seem to matter. “Take no moneybag, no knapsack, no sandals” (Luke 10:4).
And what will we say? Well that seems to be the easy part. “Peace . . .” (Luke 10:5). Isn’t that just ingenious? This timeless message cuts through all cultural differences, generational gaps and even walls we have helped to build ourselves. Peace — to this world of perpetual hurry. Peace – to the walking wounded, the self-medicated, the addicted, the broken. Peace — to those in lonely, self-built prisons of prejudice. Peace — to all of us who really don’t know how to proceed, but who desperately want to see God’s Kingdom come.
Yes, it is a tough crowd out there. They don’t need another sermon or program or picket sign. They need the peace of Jesus. May God bless us with eyes that see the needs of others, ears that hear their cries of joy and sorrow, hands ready to give, and hearts that (sincerely) care. The voice of Jesus echoes, “The Kingdom of God has come near.” And may God be glorified.