July 3, 2022: "May the words from my lips and the meditations of our hearts"
“May the words from my lips and the meditations of our hearts always be pleasing to you O God”
Good morning and welcome to our disciple job fair. As you may have noted in our ads and recruitment information there is an immediate need for 70 disciples.
I know that many of you will have questions about the process, what is required, rate of pay, travel requirements etc. I hope to be able to answer your questions.
I would like to thank all of those who submitted resumes & reference sheets ahead of this job fair. From an initial look there are some very talented people here with a great deal of experience and excellent educational backgrounds. We have applicants with backgrounds in theology, public speaking, advertising, public relations and human resources. We also have applicants with medical backgrounds.
Perhaps you will be surprised to find out that prior experience, education or gifts of persuasion or healing will not be necessary. As you may have read recently we are experiencing a significant labour shortage. In fact - the unemployment rate is as low as it has been since 1976 when statistics were first compiled. It is a good time to be looking for work, either as a young person or perhaps as a second or third career.
Thank you for attending this job fair today. We need you. As Jesus has said in the promotional material - the harvest is great and the labourers are few. Today we are looking for 70 people to
begin traveling, to begin to prepare communities for Jesus’ arrival. As I said earlier there is an immediate need. In fact if successful you will begin today.
You may be asking just exactly what does this work entail. You may wonder if you have the skills to be successful. You may be wondering exactly what the job description is for a disciple. In a nutshell you will be the mouth and hands of God.
In order to be successful you will need boldness, vulnerability, openness to travel and erratic work & leisure schedules. You may be paid.
What is required of you. You are to travel to the places that Jesus himself intends to visit. You are the opening act or the advance guard. You are to prepare people to hear what Jesus has to say and come to faith. In addition you are to heal the sick. To announce that the kingdom of God has come near. You are to accept the hospitality of those you greet in the name of peace.
You will be required to eat the food that is given to you. This may be a problem for those with food allergies, gluten or lactose intolerances or picky eaters. Please keep this in mind as you continue in the process.
You will also need to remain in one home while you talk about Jesus and God and the coming kingdom. Time is short. The Kingdom is at hand. We have no time to lose.
You must be prepared for danger. Not everyone will want to hear your message. Not everyone will welcome you. This is expected. Jesus has made this clear and there is a standard response you are directed to give. If you are not welcomed go into the streets and say “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….”
You will work in pairs so it is important that you get along with your traveling partner. As a result interpersonal skills, ability to work with varied personalities and respect for one another is paramount. These are skills that some of you may have learned from previous experience. We are willing to work with you to improve your skills in this area. With the labour shortage and the immediacy of the program we are willing to offer “on the job training”.
How will you travel and what is required. You will walk. You will stay focused on your task and not be sidetracked by casual conversations on the road. You will travel light. I anticipate that this requirement will be met with some concern or surprise or flat out denial. When I said travel “light” I meant just that. You are to take nothing with you. That’s right - NOTHING. No purse, no bag, no sandals & you can leave your cellphones and debit cards.
This may be a requirement that you may not be willing to accept. Please keep this in mind as we continue.
At this point you may be asking why would I want to do this. Or perhaps you are asking do I really have what it takes to be a
disciple, to prepare the way for Jesus. To help grow the kingdom of God. To heal people and bring them to faith. Let me reassure you on that point. You may have heard of other disciples that Jesus recruited and trained. None of them was prepared for the work. But Jesus is an excellent teacher. You will not need to fear on that score.
But there is danger in this work and you must be prepared that you may well be rejected or worse. In addition you will be required to help increase the number of labourers. You will be helping to recruit others to do the work of sharing the good news that Jesus brings. We call this the Gospel.
The work is important and it is rewarding. Although not in the way our consumer society is familiar with rewards. It is work that will bring you great joy. You will be citizens of the kingdom. Is that enough. Is it enough to share the peace of God or shalom. Peace means working for the good of all. Peace is more than a greeting. Peace is representative of the Kingdom of God.
Jesus is inviting you to take a chance. Try to do things in his way and see what happens. He has a proven formula. You can learn much from his example. Others who have taken up this work have found that their relationship with Jesus has deepened. Instead of counting on their own preparations they trusted - they let go and tried it God’s way.
Perhaps you still have some reservations. That is understandable and expected. It may be hard for you to believe that God is on
your side. You may not feel that you have the skills or abilities or commitment to this work. Its true.
We are not well prepared to share the Gospel. We are not ideal examples. But we are loved by God who believes that we can share the good news. We are not alone in our work or in our struggles or in our successes.
Remember our slogan -”the Kingdom of God is near”. The simplicity is astounding but how to bring it to fruition is baffling. Bringing peace is impossible without the peace of God.
Are you ready to accept the challenge. Are you ready to share the message. Are you ready to be a disciple. Are you ready to be the mouth and hands of God.
If you are then we will greet the world in peace, attend to the sick and proclaim the word.