Labor Crisis in God's Kingdom

William C. Brownson

READ : Matthew 9:35-38
Matthew 10:1-6

Jesus looked out on crowds of people with compassion, a “veritable pain of love.” What did he see?

He saw them like a harvest, ripe in the fields, waiting to be gathered in. He saw them like sheep abandoned on the hills, exposed to hardships and predators. He saw them as those loved and longed for, in peril and urgent need.

Then, a kind of lament: “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.” Jesus saw in those crowds many who were “ripe,” open to his message, ready to be gathered in to God’s fold. But the shepherds to care for them and the laborers to gather them were still few.

What was to be done? The disciples were to pray. “Ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” Only God can raise up the workers and send them out. Only he can fire hearts with his compassion, his zeal.

Along with the call came a remarkable promise. When his followers ask, the Lord of the harvest will send. In the mystery of his kingdom purpose, God uses your asking and mine to recruit men and women of the burning heart!


Lord, help us to see the crowds with your compassion, and to give priority to this prayer for laborers. Thank you for those whom you will send. Amen.