Daily reading: 1 October
Helping the helpless.
Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest.’
- Matthew 9:35-38 New Revised Standard Version. Click here to read the King James Version
I thought my train journey would be a good opportunity to write these prayers. I was the first person on the train, just looking up Matthew 9, when the cleaner came through with his big rubbish bag. 'What a job!' I commiserated.
The man told me that he would finish in an hour if the next cleaner showed up for work. If she bunked off, he would be on that train through the afternoon. He was eager to get home because it was his son’s birthday. Would he get paid more for doing someone else’s shift? In your dreams. Saturdays were the worst.
This passage has always made me feel vaguely guilty, as though I should be out saving souls. But maybe the work in Jesus’ field is accomplished whenever someone who is harassed and helpless encounters a fellow human being and shares a moment of real understanding.
Make good news happen today for somebody who is harassed and helpless.
O God, we are sheep ourselves. But we have seen the shepherd. Send us out as workers for him.
Today's contributor is the Rev Roberta Rominger, a former General Secretary of the United Reformed Church
Published on 01 October 2017