"Jesus sent these twelve out and commanded them, 'As you go, make this announcement: "The Kingdom of heaven has come near." Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those with skin diseases, and throw out demons.'" (Matthew 10:5-8a).
As Simpson writes, "The Gospels make wonderfully clear that the disciples had not the foggiest idea of what they had gotten into when they followed Jesus. With a simple, 'Follow me,' Jesus invited ordinary people to come and be part of an adventure, a journey that kept surprising them at every turn in the road."
Not much has changed. The disciples were amazingly like us, and we are incredibly like the disciples. We haven't the "foggiest idea" of what Jesus is calling us to. Announce the kingdom? Heal? Cleanse people? "Who, me?" Yes, you. We have been called on the adventure. We have been caught up in God's work and are a part of God's plan. We are not spectators, but participants. The task of the witness is to give testimony to that which they have seen and heard. God has been, and is, at work, and you are invited to take part.
Our reading provides us with excellent instruction for the two-fold nature of witness. Jesus' command encompasses spiritual and physical needs. Jesus doesn't just say, "Announce the kingdom;" nor does he only say, "Heal the sick." We are called to do both: to share the love of Christ by telling others who Christ is and how Christ died for them and to share the love of Christ by meeting physical needs.
There isn't a single dimension of human existence that the gospel of Jesus Christ leaves untouched. You have been invited to take part in a grand adventure.
Prayer: God, if I ever thought your calling on my life was boring, I repent! You have made me a part of your adventure and invited me to announce the coming of another, a better, world. Help me to be a faithful witness. May your reign take hold in my life, so that I might give evidence to your kingdom. Amen.