the 2nd sunday after pentecost
the PRAYER. . .
God of compassion, you have opened the way for us and brought us to yourself. Pour your love into our hearts, that, overflowing with joy, we may freely share the blessings of your realm and faithfully proclaim the good news of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
the READING. . .
Then [Jesus] said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”
the DEVOTION. . .
“Will you assume this office, believing that the Church’s call is God’s call to the ministry of Word and Sacrament?” That was the first question! And, of course, I answered exactly as expected … “I will, and I ask God to help me!” But of the four questions asked, that afternoon, it’s this one that still haunts me. Do I really believe it? That the church’s call is God’s call? On a good day, sure I do! But there aren’t a whole lot of good ones in ministry! There aren’t that many in life, in general! So, a career later, if I was asked that same question, I guess I’d have to say, “Maybe.”
But Monday morning, it, finally, dawned on me … It isn’t god who needs the laborers; it’s the harvest! The call doesn’t come from the farmer; it comes from the field! It comes the same way, god’s call always comes! Not from the top, but from the bottom! Not through shouts, but sighs. It was the harassed and the helpless that called Jesus, that morning! Not god! It’s when Jesus sees the crowds that he has compassion! But then, that’s the way ministry, the way service, the way love, always works. Responding! Reacting! To the needs of the crowds! Will I assume this office, believing that the church’s call is god’s call? Absolutely! Of course! After all, god’s call always comes through the lowest and the least! God’s call always comes through the ones we least expect!
Bob Barndt, pastor