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Sorry, My Mistake

your names are inscribed in heaven
Isaiah 66:10-14; Psalm 66:1-7,16,20; Galatians 6:14-18; Luke 10:1-12,17-20

Sermon Week Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle C

Scripture Summary Luke 10:20

A pastor and popular author wrote about a certain mistake that he says many preachers are guilty of. He says, "My mistake, one of many, is that I tell people to 'take Jesus out to the world.' This isn’t completely inaccurate. In a real sense, when followers of Jesus enter their communities they do so as conduits and instruments of the risen Christ. "But," he continues, "this does not mean that Christians 'own' God or that He is not already at work out in the world. To think that God or Jesus is the exclusive property of our church or that He is held tightly by our often-mistaken interpretations isn’t good doctrine; it’s arrogance."

"Stop asking God to bless what you’re doing. Get involved in what God is doing -- because it is already blessed."

"You see," he writes, "God is already 'out there, somewhere.' We don’t show up with him like we're delivering a pizza. We can only point others to where he is. And usually, he is in the poor, the downtrodden, the weak and the broken." – 1

In today's Gospel Lesson, Jesus dispatches seventy-two of the disciples to precede Him into the villages He planned to visit and to prepare the people for His coming. Their mission is to explain to the people that Jesus is of God. "Cure the sick there" and tell the people "The Reign of God is at hand," Jesus instructs them (Lk. 10:9). Later, the seventy-two disciples return in jubilation. They are anxious to tell Jesus about their successes. "Master, even the demons are subject to us in Your Name," they say triumphantly (Lk. 10:17). Jesus answers, "Do not rejoice so much in the fact that the devils are subject to you as that your names are inscribed in heaven" (Lk. 10:20).

Jesus wants them to understand that they will miss the whole meaning of their discipleship if they see it in terms of their own glorification. He does not send them out in pursuit of power and prestige. He is saying, in effect, "Do not rejoice in your newly-found exalted status [...]

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