St Luke's Day

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Good Morning and Happy Saint Luke’s Day – my name is Reverend Jo Musson and I’m Vicar of Claines and St George’s in Worcester.

A couple of years ago my husband and I went on holiday to Germany. We camped next to Lake Constance and one day decided to cycle part way round it.

It was a beautiful day, but somehow we managed to get separated and so I found myself all alone, with no phone, no money, no map, and with only the most basic german: danke bitte.

I was utterly lost, I had no idea what to do, we had already cycled about 25 miles and I was tired and reluctant to waste energy cycling back to look for Adrian, I decided the best thing to do, was to cycle forward, to the town where we were heading and hope we would meet up at the dock where we were planning to catch the ferry back across the lake.

An hour or so later I arrived, weary and anxious. It wasn’t the small town I had imagined, it had a Cathedral, it was a city and there were several ports. I had no idea what I was going to do. I sat on a bench, utterly lost, praying that Adrian would find me. I really appreciated then what it must be like to be utterly alone in the world.

When Jesus commissions 70 new disciples, he tells them to take nothing with them, and he sends them out around the villages to tell people the good news: the kingdom of god is here. They are to take no money, no food, no spare clothes… they too started out in pairs!

The sending out of the 70 or 72 in some versions - only occurs in Luke’s gospel. The commissioning of the 12 is the better known, 12 has echoes of the 12 tribes of Israel. The 12 disciples are part of the new covenant.

With the commissioning of the 70, Luke was hinting that Jesus was the new Moses (you may recall that Moses called 70 elders to help him lead and govern the people).

Today we celebrate Luke the Evangelist. Luke is more often thought of as a physician, but he’s believed to have been one of the 70, commissioned by Jesus and it is his role as an evangelist that we honour today. So to all those who worship at St Luke’s anywhere, happy patronal festival!

The number 70 is also significant because it emphasises completeness. Jesus wants the good news taken beyond the Jews to the whole world. The harvest was plentiful, though the workers were few.

People of all backgrounds took up that call and travelled far and wide to spread the word, often to countries where they couldn’t speak the language. It must have been daunting.

In the 2nd letter to Timothy, the writer advises him to ‘keep his head in all situations, do the work of an evangelist.’ We know that Luke was still with him when he also wrote ‘I have fought the good fight and finished the race.’ What a sense of relief that must have been.

So what about us?

Well our context is very different but we are also called to share the good news, to prepare the way for Jesus. For most of us, thank goodness, that will not involve foreign travel, because the harvest is plentiful right here in our streets and families.

But it will require courage. Evangelism goes far beyond simply being kind to people, it is about naming Jesus, bringing God into the conversation. When I first started going to church in my 30’s it was easy to admit ‘I go to church’ but far harder to say ‘I am a Christian’.

So have a think. What is the good news about Jesus you want to share? How has your faith given you strength and support? Use your own words, your own experiences.

Lost in Germany I realised the only way I was going to be saved was to act. Fortunately I know Adrian’s mobile number off by heart- all I needed was a phone, so I started asking people, in English, if they would let me use their phone and eventually a someone agreed, and I was able to phone him, agree a meeting point and we were reunited. That is a very happy memory! In all we cycled over 50 miles. Never have I been so happy to get back to our camper.

Today our mission and context may be different, but just like the 70, we too can rely on God, he goes everywhere with us, and will give us courage for the task and the gift of prayer, the Holy Spirit will give us the words. And in Christ we are fed, with food for the journey, heavenly nourishment for our souls. And now I pray that ‘Got ist mitt dir’ on your missionary journey. Amen

 Questions:

  1. What good news do you want to share?
  2. What benefit do you get from having a faith?
  3. Who are you going to tell?


Page last updated: 11th October 2020 4:51 PM
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