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The Bulletin Insert Sunday 3rd July, 2016 Pentecost 7 Year C You Say Goodbye and I say hello

BULLETIN INSERT   Lismore Anglican Parish –   Sunday 3rd July 2016

You Say Goodbye and I Say Hello

A line from a popular 1967 Beatles song reminds us that saying goodbye to those we love can be hard, especially if we think we might never see them again. But without ‘goodbye’ there can be no ‘hello’.

Today we formally say goodbye to Rev. Lyndon and Anna, and young Jack and Josh, as their time with us draws to a close and a new season of ministry begins. We join in giving thanks for their joyful and enthusiastic contributions to the life of our parish, and their inspirational faith – lived out in so many ways.

And whilst our goodbyes are made with some sadness, we can rejoice, confident that wherever they may be called, our Lord will use them in extending the Kingdom of which we are all an integral part. So no matter what, we will see them again.

This week’s Gospel records the sending out of the seventy whom Jesus had carefully prepared to proclaim the good news and likewise extend the invisible Kingdom he had come to establish.

As they prepare to say goodbye to loved ones, Jesus warns them that they will encounter resistance, opposition and rejection as they sow the seeds of the gospel. Yet, despite the inevitable challenges and frustrations, their efforts will bear fruit as they testify to the reality of God’s reign.

In the gospel account, we get to hear something of their successes on their return, yet Jesus quickly refocuses their joy, telling them to instead ‘rejoice that your names are written in heaven’ [v20].

Like those ancient missionaries, we are the labourers whom Jesus sends out to his harvest. We, too, carry the message of hope and forgiveness that some will accept and others will reject.

We are also the ones to whom Jesus has chosen to reveal both himself and the Father [v22]. Surely this is at the same time a rich blessing and a great responsibility.

 

Luke 10:1-12, 17-24 NRSV

The Mission of the Seventy

1After this the Lord appointed seventy[a] others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. He said to them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest. Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves. Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and greet no one on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, “Peace to this house!” And if anyone is there who shares in peace, your peace will rest on that person; but if not, it will return to you. Remain in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide, for the labourer deserves to be paid. Do not move about from house to house. Whenever you enter a town and its people welcome you, eat what is set before you; cure the sick who are there, and say to them, “The kingdom of God has come near to you.”[b] 10 But whenever you enter a town and they do not welcome you, go out into its streets and say, 11 “Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet, we wipe off in protest against you. Yet know this: the kingdom of God has come near.”[c] 12 I tell you, on that day it will be more tolerable for Sodom than for that town.

The Return of the Seventy

17 The seventy[a] returned with joy, saying, ‘Lord, in your name even the demons submit to us!’ 18 He said to them, ‘I watched Satan fall from heaven like a flash of lightning. 19 See, I have given you authority to tread on snakes and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing will hurt you. 20 Nevertheless, do not rejoice at this, that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.’

Jesus Rejoices

21 At that same hour Jesus[b] rejoiced in the Holy Spirit[c] and said, ‘I thank[d] you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.[e] 22 All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.’

23 Then turning to the disciples, Jesus[f] said to them privately, ‘Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! 24 For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.’