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Bulletin (Click on PDF)
Faith A living, daring confidence in God’s grace. When we about faith, we are talking about the relationship God’s Holy Spirit creates with us. It’s a relationship where God’s promise of steadfast love and mercy in Jesus opens us to a life of bold trust in God and joyful, generous service to everyone we know and meet in daily life.
As a Lutheran church body, Saint Bart's professes belief in the "priesthood of all believers" as reflected in Martin Luther's To the Christian Nobility of the German Nation, that all baptized persons have equal access to God and are all called to use their gifts to serve the body of Christ. All are welcome here and we embrace the diversity of the beloved community.
At the same time faith does not close our minds to the world and our hearts to others. We continue to listen to the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. We listen to the witness of others and we watch for the ways God is active in the world around us. Faith opens a place for engaging others in conversation, for seeking the truth, for asking questions and speaking love in word and deed.
SUNDAY, JULY 3, 2022
PRAYER: Holy Father, by the power of your Holy Spirit, prepare our hearts and minds to receive all that You want us to learn. As we read your word, shine on us the light of your truth. May we gain a deeper understanding of who You are and what your will is in each of our lives. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
CONTEXT: The Gospel text for this week directly follows last week’s reading. We continue to accompany Jesus in His ministry on the way to Jerusalem. The reading is full of helpful teaching with regard to successful ministry, both for the early followers of Jesus, and for us as well.
READING: Luke 10:1-11, 16-20
1After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. 2 He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore, ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. 3 Go on your way; I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves. 4 Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals, and greet no one on the road. 5 Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house!’ 6 And if a person of peace is there, your peace will rest on that person, but if not, it will return to you. 7 Remain in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide, for the laborer deserves to be paid. Do not move about from house to house. 8 Whenever you enter a town and its people welcome you, eat what is set before you; 9 cure the sick who are there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ 10 But whenever you enter a town and they do not welcome you, go out into its streets and say, 11 ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet, we wipe off in protest against you. Yet know this: the kingdom of God has come near.’
16 “Whoever listens to you listens to me, and whoever rejects you rejects me, and whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.” 17 The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, in your name even the demons submit to us!” 18 He said to them, “I watched Satan fall from heaven like a flash of lightning. 19 Indeed, I have given you authority to tread on snakes and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will hurt you. 20 Nevertheless, do not rejoice at this, that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:
1. What is the “harvest” Jesus talks about in verse 2? What do we know about harvesting, and how does it help us to understand the nature of the task at hand?
2. What does it tell you that Jesus sent out so many people at once? What does it tell you that they were sent to places Jesus intended to go to afterward? Is there a message there regarding our role as disciples?
3. The reading offers us many rules for successful missioning:
- work in pairs.
- carry nothing with you.
- greet no one on the road.
- when entering a house, first say “peace to this house”.
- remain in the same house, not moving from one to the
- eat whatever is set before you.
How does each of these rules encourage success?
4. What do verses 10, 11 and 16 tell us about how we are to handle rejection by non-believers?
5. What does the amazing success of this mission tell you? In what ways can we expect to accomplish as much as the 72 did?
6. What does Jesus caution the disciples about in verses 17-20? When might we make the same mistake?
7. How might we too feel like lambs sent into the midst of wolves? How does this reading give us new hope and encouragement in that regard?