Our Gospel reading for this Sunday begins at Matthew 9:35 and in the NRSV bible the bold heading above it is, “The Harvest is Great, the Laborers Few.” In this passage we find Jesus very busy – he was moving from village to village teaching and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, healing people of disease and sickness, and casting out demons. It says that Jesus had compassion for the crowds as they were harassed and helpless, like a sheep without a shepherd.
Harassed and helpless. It seems that the world today fits this description to a tee. We are all well aware that we are living in a troubled time and I know that at times I feel quite helpless in the face of the world news. There is a looming famine in many parts of the world and there is terrorism to worry about. Our news is filled with violence and strife.
But we Christians are called to be Christ’s laborers. To me this means that we must strive to be non-anxious, even fearless, in the face of violence and strife. We want to find a faith strong enough that the news of the day does not send us wobbling and teetering about. We might feel instead the grounded strength of love that comes directly from our connection to Jesus Christ.
Now is not the time to be wishy washy about our Christianity. Now is the time to drink deeply from the well of living water and to be laborers of love. Now is the time to be agents of Christ’s compassion and peace in a world that needs it so badly.