Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.
It is very easy to dwell on the ills of our culture. God knows there are many. Currently commentaries and critiques on our culture are in abundance. While it is easy to simply offer commentary and critique concerning the issues of our day (same-sex marriage, abortion, racism, immigration, religious extremism, etc.) it is something else entirely to actually engage the world around us. Speaking up and speaking out is indeed necessary but our words cannot be divorced from gospel-fueled action. You cannot genuinely engage culture without engaging the people who make up the culture. The ministry of the gospel is not an abstract endeavor, it involves building real relationships in a real world with real people who have very real problems.
So when Jesus looked at the world around him he didn’t see issues he saw people bound by sin and in need of a Savior. He then told his disciples to pray for more workers. We are at a deficit where workers are concerned. We need more gospel workers whose sleeves have been rolled up and whose hands are dirty from faithfully laboring in the harvest of souls. This is not another task to add to our already overloaded schedules. This is the mission of the Church. We deserved death but in Christ we have received life. We deserved judgment but in Christ we have received mercy. We were orphans but in Christ we have been graciously adopted into the family of God. When we were once enslaved to a nature that sought to serve no one but ourselves God lovingly intervened to recreate us in his image to live for the highest purpose of his glory.
The harvest is ready and no one person or one church can do it all alone. We need more workers. Let’s pray earnestly to the Lord for workers as we ourselves set our hearts and our hands to do the work.