Twentieth Sunday after Trinity – Sunday
The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest that He will send forth laborers into His harvest. – Matthew 9:37-38.
If you would take a general view of the heathen world, and even of so-called “Christian” countries where so many churches are served by false teachers, in what condition would you find the people? They would be famished spiritually, and scattered as sheep having no shepherd. Is not that a sight to move you with compassion? Can your Christian heart see this and remain cold and indifferent?
Jesus was moved with compassion when He saw a condition similar to what we see today, and, therefore He said to His disciples: “The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest that He will send forth laborers into His harvest.” And He says this also to us. We should pray to our gracious God with confidence, since it is His gracious and good will that we, His people, come to Him with our prayers and petitions for help in finding (and ultimately sending) faithful laborers, faithful pastors, to work in His harvest of souls. The Apostle John gave us this reminder and this reassurance in his First Epistle: “This is the confidence that we have in Him [the Son of God], that, if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us; and if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him” (5:14-15). For wherever persistent sowing and regular watering (I Corinthians 3:5-7) of the living and “powerful” (Hebrews 4:12) seed of God’s Word is carried out, there God Himself says of His Word: “It shall not return unto Me void. but It shall accomplish that which I please, and It shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent It” (Isaiah 55:11).
Do you, dear Christian, regularly pray to your merciful God to find and send faithful pastors for teaching and preaching of His Word, so that blood-bought souls continue to hear, believe, be instructed by, and be kept in the saving faith until the end of their earthly lives? Is the finding and sending of such faithful men, to be faithful pastors, “too hard” (Genesis 18:14) for our God to accomplish for the benefit and blessing of precious souls? Since our God has “created the heaven [the sky and everything in it] and the earth” (Genesis 1:1) in six normal days, and He, “by His grace” (Romans 3:24), has also forgiven the sins of the whole world “in Christ” (II Corinthians 5:19) on account of His perfect “redemption” (Romans 3:24), He is able to continue to “send forth laborers into His harvest,” for He wants “all men [all sinners] to be saved and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (I Timothy 2:4).
PRAYER – Lord Jesus, I confess to Thee my many sins of omission, the many times that I have failed to pray to Thee to graciously find and send faithful men to train for the pastoral office, so that they will be well equipped to serve precious souls with Thy holy Law and Thy saving Gospel. Comfort me with Thy free and full forgiveness on account of Thy active and passive obedience, and may that precious forgiveness move me to more and more boldly come to Thee “to send forth laborers into Thy harvest.” Amen.