–By Elizabeth Ahlman
Yesterday, Tuesday, October 18, the Church celebrated the Festival of St. Luke, Evangelist. Today for the Wednesday Devotion, we will reflect on the texts appointed for that day. Those readings are: Isaiah 35:5-8, Psalm 147:1-11, 2 Timothy 4:5-18, Luke 10:1-9.
After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go. And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. Go your way; behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. Carry no moneybag, no knapsack, no sandals, and greet no one on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house!’ And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest upon him. But if not, it will return to you. And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages. Do not go from house to house. Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you. Heal the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ But whenever you enter a town and they do not receive you, go into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near.’ I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town. (Luke 10:1-12 ESV)
Although the workers may be few, the Lord of the harvest has brought many into His field through His appointed workers. Luke was one of them. St. Luke wrote the Gospel by the same name, as well as the Book of Acts, but he also traveled with the apostles and proclaimed the Gospel message. In the reading from 2 Timothy, we see that it is Luke who travels with and stays with Paul during one of his arrests, even when all others have abandoned them. St. Luke put his feet to the dusty streets, his mouth to the task of proclamation, and his pen to the task of recording the life of Christ and the early church.
We are a direct result of St. Luke, the Evangelist, and all evangelists after him. From pastors to Sunday School teachers, to Lutheran School teachers, parents, and grandparents, we have been “Gospeled” and made a part of the harvest gathered in to the store barns of our Lord.
Thanks are due, then, to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who in His death and resurrection made a way for us to be harvested with the good chaff. Through His mandate, He created for us the Office of the Holy Ministry, which He uses to bring us into faith through water and the Word and to sustain us in that faith. He gave to us the gift of Christian brothers and sisters who, in their various vocations, also proclaimed to us His death and resurrection, encouraged us in faith, and even set pen to paper once in a while, perhaps, in order to remind us of the great love of the Heavenly Father through the Son.
“For that belov’d physician
All praise, whose Gospel shows
The Healer of the nations,
The one who shares our woes.
Your wine and oil, O Savior,
Upon our spirits pour,
And with true balm of Gilead
Anoint us evermore.” (By All Your Saints in Warfare” LSB 518 v. 26)
Let us Pray: “Almighty God, our Father, Your blessed Son called Luke the physician to be an evangelist and physician of the soul. Grant that the healing medicine of the Gospel and the Sacraments may put to flight the diseases of our souls that with willing hearts we may ever love and serve You; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.” (Collect of the Day for the Festival of St. Luke the Evangelist from The Lutheran Service Book: Altar Book, Concordia Publishing House, 2006).
- Read last week’s devotion.
- Next week, for our Guest Devotion series, Rev. Jordan Tomesch will be contributing a devotion. Rev. Tomesch is currently support raising. He will be deployed as a missionary to refugees in Hamburg, Germany, where he will work closely with LCMS sister church body, The Independent Evangelical Lutheran Church of Germany (SELK).