Help Wanted

Posted by on Aug 30, 2013 in Faith Words |

Words of Faith 

Rev. Rita S. Platt

July 7, 2013 

“Help Wanted” 

Luke 10:1-12, 16 

Many of us are familiar with this sign: HELP WANTED. 

It signifies that businesses are searching for those who have a desire to fill vacant positions. Most employers want individuals who are dedicated, dependable and loyal. They don’t want a person who is going to spend time playing games on their computer or face-booking their friends. They don’t want someone who is going to watch the clock all day. They don’t want someone who will miss too many days. They want someone who has a mind to work . 

Do you know that there is a help wanted sign in every local church? It’s true and each local church has a number of vacant positions that need to be filled. But before we can rush out to apply, it is essential to know the job description. 

Jesus defines this pretty clearly in The Acts of the Apostles 1:8: You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. 

· A witness is somebody who gives evidence after seeing or hearing something 

· Jesus said you are to be my witnesses- so two necessary skills are to have clarity about what God has done in your life and be able to communicate it to others. 

You have about 3 minutes before someone will stop listening. Individuals doing any type of sales know that. It’s sometimes called “The Elevator Speech.” Three minutes to catch someone’s interest to get them to want to know more… A the speech changes based on the audience. 

So do you know what you would say? The easy answer is “Everything I have in my life is because of God.” Although this statement is true, the problem is that it is too general. It doesn’t connect with the person you are trying to reach. So what would you share…a struggle you have been through…a time you needed wisdom …a time you felt unlovable and God was there? These are just a few ideas to get you started. Take some time to think about it. Pray about it. Remember it is what God has done n your life, not what God has done for someone else. Talking about what someone else experienced is hearsay testimony. “You will be my witnesses…” 

Where? The place we start is in “Jerusalem” or our own contemporary hometown culture. 

Our culture is made up of a 5 different generations: World War II, baby-boomers, Generation X, Y and Z; each one has different expectations, values and perspective. For example, a baby boomer – post WWII – lives in a far different world from their children born Generation X (1960-80 – boomerang generation – delayed rites of passage: marriage, children. Many of you are intimately familiar with this – you have adult children who have come back home on more than one occasion. And if they haven’t physically moved back home, they have depended on your financial support to pay the rent, put gas in the car, and a myriad of other things. 

Then there’s Generation Y: 1980-2000. This will be the first American generation to do less well economically than their parents. I understood this reality when I attended my grandson’s high school graduation this summer. The commencement speakers, those who had achieved the highest accomplishments academically, spoke of “the difficulty the class would have…the lack of jobs…education wouldn’t guarantee success.” As I listened I thought about how different my commencement speeches were…we could change the world…we were going to do great things. The members of Generation Y are not that optimistic. 

The final the current generation Z: “ highly connected,” smart phones, web, social media, texting. When my granddaughter was five her mom gave her a tablet, not the paper with lines. My 9-year-old grandson can use a smartphone; when I have questions about mine I ask him. My 2-year-old granddaughter, Lilly, can use her gaming system. 

The implications for the gospel and church life are obvious: If we are going to be successful in communicating with the generations we will need to learn their language. There is no such thing as “one size fits all.” 

The task will not be easy. Jesus understood that the task would be full of challenges, disappointments, frustrations. In The Message, Peterson translates it “hazardous work.” 

Still the work is rewarding and there is joy. Verse 16: “the 70 came back triumphant,” because God sent them and God equipped them. 

So who are the “laborers?” Surely the laborers are the missionaries, pastors and teachers. These, and oh yes, more! All persons are called to be laborers by virtue of their baptism. So why “so few?”

Because in part most persons do not know how God has made them, gifted them, and empowered them. 

They don’t have clarity about what God has done in their lives, so they can’t tell others. That’s why we need to pray. In a few moments we will prepare to celebrate the sacrament of Communion. But before we do I invite you to enter into a silent prayer of confession. 

Invitation 

Christ our Lord invites to his table all who love him, who earnestly repent of their sin and seek to live in peace with one another. Therefore let us confess our sin before God and one another: 

Silent Prayer of Confession . . . 

God, I confess that I am often dissuaded by disappointments. I plan for my life and others, and am unsettled when things don’t turn out. I have often lost the vision of your care over my life and my failure to respond to your will. I fume and fuss instead of looking for fresh blessings that you will bring out of my reluctant witness. 

I confess my deep need of your indwelling power to help me see myself as I am, and others as they are. I know that I will never make a fresh start unless I am honest with you about my life. I have wandered from you, wasted your gifts, and forgotten your love. 

Have mercy on me, Lord. I am deeply sorry for my secret sins and for my cowardice… 

 

 

Words of Assurance 

We have opened ourselves to God’s forgiveness and new life. Because we have taken that risk, God gives us new stamina, new courage, new direction, and new hope. We are free to live a new dimension of life in Christ 

We rejoice that Christ makes this possible, as we move out with the seventy.