“After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.” (Luke 10:1-3)
“Dear Lord Jesus, it’s really not all that complicated. All of history—every millennium, century, year and nano-second is determined by your outrageously generous commitment to redeem—to “harvest” your beloved Bride from every nation, tribe, people and language. You’ve done everything necessary to guarantee this magnificent nuptial story will end perfectly.
You bought us with your life and death. You love us with more passion and delight than we can possibly imagine. You’ve secured our safe arrival in the new heaven and new earth. There’s no chance the wedding feast of the Lamb will not take place. Yet, even as you’ve determined the glorious end of all things, so you’ve appointed the means to that end. We’re not just to be the Bride in waiting, but workers in the harvest—the plentiful, ripe harvest.
As the church—as your greatly loved Bride, we’re not supposed to be hanging out in the spa reading glamour magazines getting our nails done. We’re supposed to be getting dirt under our nails, as we do the hard and heart work of evangelism and missions. You send us out like lambs among wolves. It’s a costly, messy, much-resisted work you’ve given us to do. But it’s worth all the sacrifice, tears and conflict… for you came us as the Lamb among sinners and the Lamb for sinners. The price you paid “to have and to hold” your Bride makes our most agonizing work a kingdom joy.
Jesus, gracious Lord of the harvest, send us… send me into the harvest you’ve secured for yourself. What more could we possibly want for our church family? What other story would we choose for the rest of our days in this world, than to be the means by which you gather your Bride from the nations and prepare her for a future beyond our wildest dreams? Forgive us… focus us… free us… so very Amen, we pray, in your loving and triumphant name.”