Tuesday after Invocavit
Scripture: St. Luke 10:1-22 (NKJV)
1 After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go. 2 Then He said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. 3 Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs among wolves. 4 Carry neither money bag, knapsack, nor sandals; and greet no one along the road. 5 But whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ 6 And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest on it; if not, it will return to you. 7 And remain in the same house, eating and drinking such things as they give, for the laborer is worthy of his wages. Do not go from house to house. 8 Whatever city you enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you. 9 And heal the sick there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ 10 But whatever city you enter, and they do not receive you, go out into its streets and say, 11 ‘The very dust of your city which clings to us we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near you.’ 12 But I say to you that it will be more tolerable in that Day for Sodom than for that city.
13 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 14 But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you. 15 And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades. 16 He who hears you hears Me, he who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me.”
17 Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” 18 And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. 20 Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”
21 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight. 22 All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.”
The Seventy were given great authority. Being Christ’s representatives, they had authority to heal, cast out demons, and trample on Satan’s agents. But they were not to rejoice in this authority received from Christ. They were not to glory in any given success while preaching the kingdom in any given city. Nor were they to wallow in self-pity when cities rejected their preaching of the kingdom, repentance and faith. The power, the successes, the failures, none of those belonged to the laborers. These laborers were to rejoice in their salvation, that no matter what outcome their ministry had, their names were written in Heaven.
The same is true for you, dear baptized children of God. Whatever you are given to do: rejoice that your names are written in Heaven. If you have been entrusted with Christ’s Office of the Ministry, work at that ministry with all your might, but rejoice in your salvation. Have you been called to the office of parent, child, employer, employee, citizen, volunteer, or retiree? Whatever vocations God has given you to do, “do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.” (Col. 3:23) All of your vocations are gifts from the Lord to you and to your neighbor. Each vocation has its responsibilities and authority from God. But do not rejoice in any authority you have because it belongs to Christ. Do not wallow in your vocational failures. Rejoice that your Lord writes your name in Heaven, that by faith in Christ your sins are forgiven and your everlasting life is secure.
O Lord, mercifully hear our prayer and stretch forth the right hand of Thy majesty to defend us from them that rise up against us; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord. Amen.