Sermon / Pr. Ted Giese / Sunday July 3rd 2016 - / Luke 10:1-20 / Take No Shoes For Your Feet
Mount Olive Lutheran Church / Pr. Ted A. Giese / Sunday July 3rd 2016: The Season of Pentecost, Luke 10:1-20. "Take No Shoes For Your Feet"
After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of Him, two by two, into every town and place where He himself was about to go. And He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into His harvest. Go your way; behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. Carry no moneybag, no knapsack, no sandals, and greet no one on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house!’ And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest upon him. But if not, it will return to you. And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the labourer deserves his wages. Do not go from house to house. Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you. Heal the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ But whenever you enter a town and they do not receive you, go into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near.’ I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.
“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it will be more bearable in the judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You shall be brought down to Hades.
“The one who hears you hears Me, and the one who rejects you rejects Me, and the one who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me.”
The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name!” And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
Let us pray: May the words of my mouth and the meditations of all our hearts be acceptable in Your sight O Lord. Amen.
Grace peace and mercy to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Good Christian Friends. Having nothing is not the end of the world. Neither is needing help. When Jesus send out the 72, He sends them out with a lesson to learn, a lesson about value and need and real love. This lesson is for us today as well, and Jesus teaches you this very thing if you have ears to hear and eyes to see.
Jesus says to the 72, "Go your way; behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. Carry no moneybag, no knapsack, no sandals, and greet no one on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house!’ And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest upon him. But if not, it will return to you. And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the labourer deserves his wages. Do not go from house to house."
Tomorrow morning get up and go on your way to Moose Jaw. Take no car, no truck, no bike; If you're a man take no wallet, if you're a lady take no purse, take no money clip, no credit card, no cheque book; As you walk take no shoes for your feet, no backpack, no cell phone. If you take the main road it'll take about 14 hours and when you arrive you will be hungry and tired and your feet will be in brutal shape. In fact because of the shape of your feet it may take you more than 14 hours to get there. When you finally wind up in downtown Moose Jaw you will need help. You will have no money for a hotel room, you'll need a shower and a meal, a bed, and someone to look after your swollen and road weary feet.
If some kind soul would take you in say, ‘Peace be to this house!’ And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest upon him. But if not, it will return to you.
Now I'm sure most of you love cottage cheese. I do not. Mostly I have trouble getting past the texture: It's wet a chunky and reminds me of the feel of vomit. It tastes fine - I just don't like it. Mostly I avoid it and I have likely only had it once or twice in the last 20 years and each time I do have it I think to myself ... yup I still don't like that. You likely have something like that, maybe you don't like the fuzzy skin on peaches or spicy food or fish. Some people are vegan and don't eat meat. Perhaps dairy or gluten don't agree with you. And yet there you are starving sitting down at table in the house of this kind person who has taken you in off the streets of Moose Jaw and they put before you the very thing that you like the least, the very thing that agrees with you the least. You need the food ... Jesus said, "remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide." Don't turn it down. eat it.
Think back to the reading, when the 72 returned to Jesus did they return with joy saying, “Lord, people took care of us! They fed us! They loved us, even though we had nothing!" No, they came back to Jesus with joy saying “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name!” To which Jesus says you've missed the point boys, Jesus said to them, "Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” Yours job was to heal the sick and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you,’ not to rejoice in the fact that, in my name, you can cast out demons!
Question? How did the kingdom of God come near to those who helped the 72? Well Jesus had sent them so there's that, but then there is also the response that these strangers had provided to the 72: patience, kindness, gentleness - they had given the 72 what amounts to love ... love that they didn't deserve but love that they desperately needed. Love and grace. What does St. John say in 1 John, he says, "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love." In the midst of the kindness shown to the 72 they were told by Jesus to says, "The kingdom of God has come near to you." And so it had. Also remember why it was that they were being sent out, the Gospel of Luke says that Jesus had appointed seventy-two others, in addition to His 12 disciples, and sent them on ahead of Him, two by two, into every town and place where He himself was about to go. St. John in 1st John continues to say, "In this, the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent His only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him." That we might live through Jesus. God's love made manifest in Jesus, Jesus who was coming to them.
Jesus is teaching the 72, and by extension the 12 disciples, this lesson in the days leading up to His own arrival in Jerusalem. How will the people of Jerusalem receive Him there? Will they take Him in and give Him a roof over His head? Will they tend to and wash His road weary feet? Will they feed Him? Will they be patient with Him? Will they show Him kindness? Will they be gentle with Him? After the Triumphal Entry on Palm Sunday what will become of Jesus, the love of God made manifest? What will become of Jesus in the streets of Jerusalem? How long will they tolerate having Him around? This leads up to the other thing that Jesus says, He says to the 72, "whenever you enter a town and they do not receive you, go into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near.’ I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town."
When Jesus enters Jerusalem, the kingdom of God - in Christ Jesus - comes near to the people there. And when they falsely accuse Him, and arrest Him under false pretences, when they beat and mock Him, when they have Him crucified, nailing His road weary feet to the cross, when they watch Him die and guard His tomb to be sure that He stays dead they nevertheless still had the kingdom of God come near to them. When it did come near to them - in Christ Jesus - the scribes, and the chief priests and the elders of the people of Jerusalem, the ones who had the responsibility as leaders to be examples of the love and grace of God, these very men rejected Jesus. They rejected the kingdom of God. Yet as Jesus, the second person of the Holy Trinity, Jesus who is God, Jesus who is love itself made manifest hangs bleeding and dying on the cross His words to them are still words of grace and mercy and love - even when these men are showing Him no love or mercy or grace: Jesus prays to His heavenly Father for those who are murdering Him praying, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Jesus had said to the 72 as He sent them out, "I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves." And behold, look and see! There is Jesus crucified upon a Roman cross - the Lamb of God - surrounded by wolves, the rulers, who St. Luke says scoffed at Jesus, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself, if He is the Christ of God, His Chosen One!” There was no love for Jesus there from these men, but all the love of God for you hung there in Jesus and on the third day God the Father raised Jesus up from the grave, and on the last day - in Christ Jesus - you will be raised up to eternal life.
I leave you with three things: 1) Remember what Jesus says, “The one who hears you hears Me, and the one who rejects you rejects Me, and the one who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me.” 2) When you put yourself first, when you put your possessions and things first (like wallets, and cars, and houses, and cell phones), when you fail to trust in His love, when you fail to love others - repent and turn to Jesus for His forgiveness - Jesus will forgive you. For your sin nailed Him to the cross as much as the sins of the men and women of Jerusalem did that first Good Friday and when Jesus prays, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do,” He prays this prayer to His Father in heaven not just for them but for you and me too. 3) This is why we can rejoice that our "names are written in heaven," because the Lord says, "Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of My hands;" Your name is engraved in the nail pierced hands of your risen Lord Jesus, the same Lord Jesus who comes near to you, comes to you in Holy Communion, who washed you in His righteous and sinless blood in the waters of your baptism and who loves you even when you don't deserve it.
Now go in the peace of Christ Jesus and tell others how He loves you. Tell how His Father's kingdom has come near to you in love, for, "if God so loved us, [in Christ Jesus] we also ought to love one another." Amen.
Let us pray: Lord have mercy on us, Christ have mercy on us, Lord have mercy on us, “take our minds and think through them, take our lips and speak through them, take our hearts and set them on fire; for the sake of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, Amen.
 1 John 4:7-9
 Luke 23:34
 Luke 23:35
 Isaiah 49:16
 1 John 4:11