This morning's scripture was Luke 10 1-20 in which Jesus sends out seventy people to preach the Gospel in various towns, giving them instructions about how to travel, what to say, and how to accept rejection. It was a rich passage with many things to teach us.
An especially important element was the idea that the people going forward were very vulnerable, "lambs among the wolves" as Rev. Dimock put it. She spoke of vulnerability as including exposing our emotions, sharing unpopular views, asking for help, accepting accountability, and asking for forgiveness.
The sermon awoke in me thoughts of my personal distaste for asking for things, whether it's money or participation or support or forgiveness. And yet, as Christians, Christ sends us forward to seek each of these things from others. And sometimes we don't like it when others, including those with whom we disagree, knock on our door or otherwise ask us to consider their views. We also resist requests for financial support or for pitching in to help. But in considering today's scripture, and human nature, we should recognize that doing the asking is not easy and that a fair hearing and a friendly response, regardless of whether it is yes or no, is appropriate, for those asking are trying to do God's will.
Christ told his followers to pay attention to how they are received. At St. Andrew's, let's commit ourselves to making anyone who asks for something feel they have been received with welcome openness, because in asking they have overcome the vulnerability that so many of us feel when we are sent out in Christ's name.