Readings for the Fourth Sunday after Pentecost

Isaiah 66:10-14; Galatians 6:1-10,14-18; Luke 10:1-20

How would you describe the world we’re living in today? Looking at the news headlines, one might call it a barroom brawl of political fighting, a ticking time bomb of environmental disaster, or a rotten cesspool of immorality. There may be elements of truth in all those answers.

But when Jesus looked out at the world, he called it a harvest field. That’s an image full of hope and possibility, as well as urgency. Then he sent 72 of his followers out into that desperate, dangerous and conflict-ridden world with the announcement that God’s Kingdom had come…in Jesus. It’s not hard to see what’s wrong in the world. But can we also see possibility of lives impacted for eternity wherever Christ and his message of peace are shared? (Lk 10)

Paul also saw a future harvest in store for God’s people as we “sow to the Spirit” rather than to the flesh. Bearing one another’s burdens, exercising the gifts of the Spirit, and practicing generosity will, in time, bear fruit for the Kingdom of God. (Gal 6)

Isaiah shares a message of new birth in joy and delight for the beleaguered citizens of Jerusalem who’d been ravaged by war. God will provide for His people in the same way that a faithful mother feeds her children. (Is 66)