Pastor’s Blog October 2016

Matthew 9: 35-38

 

[35] And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. [36] When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. [37] Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; [38] therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest.”

I was very challenged by Andrew’s sermon at our Harvest All Age service and so with his permission I wanted to use it as the basis for this month’s blog.

Andrew began by drawing our attention to the need that is in our world. Just over 10% of the UK population attend church with any regularity. Of these many will have only a nominal faith. Of course there are deeper underlying concerns because many of those who attend church are from older generations, the number of those under 30 involved with church will be significantly lower than 10%.

Do we see with the eyes of Jesus?

He saw both need and opportunity. He saw that they were sheep without a shepherd, harassed and helpless. Do we see the lostness of the people around us? The reality is that most people have no idea of how lost they are and I think that is particularly true for the younger generations. I watch something like the X-Factor and see a host of young people pursuing dreams that I think will inevitably fail to satisfy them even in the unlikely event that those dreams are realised. But Jesus also saw opportunity, “The harvest is plentiful”, he said. Do we believe there is a Harvest to be had even in Bramhall?

There is another question to ask ourselves, do we feel what Jesus felt?

What Jesus saw led him to feel compassion. As Andrew said the word in Greek implies the deepest gut wrenching feeling, his compassion was painful to him. How do we feel about the world around us? Do we leap to make judgements about people, write them off as beyond the pale? Or do we hurt because we realise that they have been let down, misled by the world’s leaders and sometimes by the church itself?

At the end of his talk Andrew suggested 3 actions that we might take:

  • We can pray for those who we meet and spend time with.
  • We can go, by seeking out the opportunities that God brings our way.
  • We can share our story, God has done great things for us and we all have a story to tell.

This Harvest time let us seek the Lord of the Harvest and ask him to send out labourers into the Harvest field.

Phil Dixon