September 15, 2017

Reason for Kingdom Joy

Luke 10:1-11, 17-21

Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned and revealed them to little children.”

—  Luke 10:21

Jesus sent out 72 followers to heal the sick and spread the good news that “the kingdom of God has come near.” He warned them that while some people and towns would welcome them with joy, not every­one would understand or receive the good news they brought.

The upside-down nature of God’s kingdom can be hard for people to accept, especially when society values the strong, powerful, and independent over the weak, helpless, and dependent of our world.

When the 72 followers returned, they were pleased and excited that they had been given power to do Jesus’ work. They said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name!” Luke reports that Jesus was also filled with joy. He praised God for the way the kingdom is more readily received by little children than the wise and learned.

If you think you should be further along in strength or maturity of faith, take comfort. Jesus treasures all who receive him in humble, trusting faith, like children. If you worry that you don’t know enough or haven’t had enough experience, take comfort. Jesus gives wisdom to his children who don’t have it all figured out. The message Jesus declares is that no matter who you are, “the kingdom of God has come near to you.”

Thank you, Father, that your kingdom of peace and grace has come near to even me. Amen.

About the author — Ruth Boven

Ruth Boven serves as minister of congregational life at LaGrave Ave. CRC in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She and her husband, Greg, have two adult children. They find rich purpose in urban ministry and delight in enjoying the wonders of God's good creation.

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