This morning I was back for my second visit of the year to Glenabbey Church, just outside Glengormley. They really call their main meeting room “The Warehouse.” There are two services on a Sunday morning – a good opportunity for the preacher to sharpen up the sermon if it needs it after the first preach.
Over the summer they are working through a series called Conversations on the Way. It’s a series of eight talks, based on Luke 9-12. My section for this morning was Luke 10:1-20 under the title, “Talking about the Struggles and Joys of the Journey.”
It’s the passage where Jesus sends 72 (or 70) of his followers to preach and heal in the various towns he would be visiting on his way to Jerusalem. It’s a passage about mission: so really the journey part of the title needs to be understood as the journey of mission and is most relevant when we see ourselves as being sent on mission into our 21st century world.
We thought about two of the struggles and two of the joys.
- The struggle of the overwhelming task. Jesus pointed out to the 72 that there was more to be harvested than there were people to do the harvesting: so they needed to pray that the Lord of the harvest would send out more workers.
- The struggle of vulnerability. The disciples were being sent into a hostile environment and would run the risk of rejection.
- The joy of being used by God. It was a source of great joy to the 72 that they had experienced the power of God working through them in the name of Jesus.
- The joy of being known by God. Great as the joy of seeing God advance his kingdom through their ministry might be, the greater joy was in knowing that their names were written in heaven.
You can watch, or download the message from the Glenabbey website.