Pondering for Sunday, July 3, 2022

New Testament Eucharistic Readings for Sunday of Proper 9: Year C

Galatians 6: 7-16 and Luke 10:1-11 and 16-20

“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.” (Luke 10: 2)

Where do we find people who dedicate themselves to helping others?  Too many of us today only care about “what is in it for me.”  So where are the dedicated teachers, nurses, fire and police persons?  The needs of our community are plentiful, but the true laborers, are few.

I have learned over the years that we can train ourselves to desire or enjoy anything; be it the taste of different foods or drinks; habits of health like exercise and not smoking; even learning to enjoy theological pondering.

We are so trainable, but we must let go of stubbornness and use willpower over laziness. However, we must first want to be better. If we don’t want it, it won’t happen for us.  This weekend we remember our Independence Day. The first colonist from Europe to this hemisphere wanted to be freed from the control of England. They wanted it so much they were willing to die for it.  Being free was their goal even as they protested as lambs  against the powers of the wolf monarchy of England. And, even as they themselves held other humans as slaves. Sometimes we can’t see the wolf in sheep’s clothing in ourselves. We can’t give freedom lip service.  It must be genuine, regardless of where we sit at the table.

As I say this, I remember our sisters and brothers in Ukraine. Please keep them in your prayers as well as many Russians who are not in agreement with what their government is doing.

I have always heard that the reward for hard work is more hard work.  But at some point, the thought-to-be hard work becomes a labor of love. The teacher seeks out the uninformed (children or adults), the nurse seeks out the sick; the fire, police and military service member stand ready for danger in order to become the solution to the problem. They all do this difficult work often regardless of how well they are equipped.  They take little with them except for the desire to do that work that God put them here to do.

We must learn to love the hard work of compassion and servanthood. In this way we are happiest when we are at our chosen labors – labors of dedicated service to others. It is what the Holy Spirit of God has called us to do. We then, are the God called laborers to the harvest.

As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John

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