At Sunday’s meeting we revised the introductory material from our reference scripture Luke 10 and we started talking specifically about verses 3 and 4 as our focus for reflection and action this week.
We recalled the idea that ‘GO’ and ‘SEND’ was clearly and consistently the key theme and reason for Luke presenting his gospel and The Acts in the way he has. We sought more confirmation that this isn’t just something we are feeling or making up and discovered that we are only 3 verses into Luke 10 and he has used the Go/Send theme 3 times i.e. once per verse so far. So, myth busted.
Last Sunday was Pentecost Sunday and it was highlighted that going and being sent is genuinely what the first Pentecost was about. Jesus’ missionary equipping method as represented in Luke 10 highlights the measurable shift between what happens when the original 12 are sent out in comparison to the 72. When I read Luke 9 and 10 at one sitting, for me there is an identifiable heart shift from hearts full of self-justification and importance towards hearts filled with child-like faith and action. There is an identifiable purpose shift from hearts that depend on ‘who has the gifts and skills’ towards hearts that start with intimacy and the Father’s unconditional love. There is an identifiable structure shift from hearts veiled by human status and interpreted regulations towards hearts longing to serve and be filled with God’s presence; and there is an identifiable paradigm shift from hearts straining to recapture the defaults and mindsets of our own versions of what measurable mission work should look like towards hearts reaching to the very height of Christ’s full stature, looking more like Jesus who is the only measurable standard worthy of our focused effort.
God’s timing and strategy is what both Jesus’ equipping method and the day of Pentecost is all about. God’s primary purpose is not the same as our non-spirit filled, human centred campaign to exalt the goodness in all humanity for the common good and equity of all.
To be sent into the harvest field as a worker approved and appointed by Jesus, is to become empty to self and full of the Spirit which is the essence of God’s presence that empowers us to look more and more like Jesus, just like the 72 discovered and as such became a revelation to the original 12.
Reflection-Action 1 Can you identify any revealed truth that might be foundational to any missional endeavour when you compare Luke’s parallel passages about Jesus appearing to his disciples prior to his ascension back into heaven; Luke 24: 49 and Acts 1:4. When you have allowed any truth you discover to cut deep into your heart, how does this (if at all) impact you as you prepare to carry and demonstrate his presence in the living, working and recreational spheres that you are connected to?
Reflection-Action 2 If and when you have previously reflected on where you might go to be a witness for Christ or even how you might live to achieve the same, have you ever reflected strategically on the difference it might make if you asked God where he was wanting to reveal his favour and mercy next and as such to whom you should go to carry and demonstrate his presence in preparation for the time when Jesus will come? Do you think that this sort of prayerful process would mean you would prepare differently to how you have in the past? Identify some differences if there are any?
Reflection-Action 3 Find a quiet space and take 10 mins or so to re-read Luke 9:1 to Luke 10: 3 again in one sitting. Based upon what is revealed to you as you read, make notes about how you might respond to what you are receiving and finish today’s reflection – action by asking the Father God to send out workers into his harvest field. Write down anything that happens in your heart and mind during this time and maybe find someone you trust to share that with.