Our scripture this morning is Matthew 9:36-38.

Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd. Then He *said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.”

Jesus continues to teach using cultural examples to which people could relate. “Sheep without a shepherd” refers to the lack of pastoral leadership at that time. The people had wandered away from God, into sin and spiritual danger.

Jesus had chosen twelve disciples to relate to the twelve tribes of Israel. They represent new leadership and a new beginning for God’s people. In the next chapter of Matthew Jesus sends them out in His name to minister.

Unlike the religious leaders of that time who held tightly to power, Jesus shares His, asking them to pray for more workers in the mission field. That need still exists and we are called to be the disciples of today. God has a plan to send every one of us to be workers for His harvest.

Gracious God, in Your mercy You have forgiven us and made us part of what You are doing in Your world. Bless us to be energetic workers, telling everyone of Your love. Amen.

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