“Preach the Gospel at all times. Use words if necessary.” – St. Francis of Assisi. Did he really say that? Probably not. It sounds good, but when preaching the Gospel both words and works are necessary. The Gospel is lived and spoken.
Luke 10:1-9 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. 2 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. 3 Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. 4 Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.
5 “When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ 6 If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you. 7 Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.
8 “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you. 9 Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’
This story comes after Jesus already sent out the 12 disciples into the mission field. That was just a start. He needed more workers, because the harvest is plentiful. So, Jesus decides to send out 72 more disciples in pairs. What we learn from this is that ministry involves more than just me. Ministry involves more than 12, and ministry even involves more than 72.
The mission of Christ involves the community of believers. It involves the church.
There are so many ministry opportunities that Jesus recruits more people and there still aren’t enough. This problem still exists today. There are not enough people willing to show and tell their faith.
Followers of Jesus are salt and light. People will see our good deeds and glorify the Father in heaven. For many we can interpret this as simply being kind, being a good person. There is honor is being quiet and unassuming and only doing “behind the scenes” work without anyone ever noticing.
What I have described is a humble and gentle servant. “Preach the Gospel at all times. Use words if necessary.” This quote and that example may have lead many of us to believe that it is acceptable to never use words when sharing the Gospel. Well, maybe not never, but seldom.
People need help connecting the dots. When being salt and light, words help those we serve make the connection to the One we serve.
When the 72 are sent out ahead of Jesus the set-up healing ministries in the towns that welcomed them. They provided care which then allowed them to point to Jesus. They used words. They told the town “the kingdom of God has come near to you.”
People don’t care how much you know till they know how much you care. People won’t know that they matter to God unless they know that they matter to you. And you just might need to show and tell them.
Both our words and works work together to connect the dots and point to Jesus. We show and tell our faith. We live and share our faith because we love God and we love people. Connecting our words and works connect the dots and connect others to Jesus.
The Gospel is lived and spoken.
Our works set up our words and our words set up our works. They complement each other and together they preach.
What are your thoughts?
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