Behold, I am sending you.
Do you feel just a little intimidated by Jesus’ words, that he is sending you to evangelize? Maybe you doubt that you’re holy enough. Or skilled enough. Or winsome enough. If so, try to look at “being sent” from a different angle.
Think about sending a letter in the mail. When you mail a letter to a friend, you try to make it look presentable. You pick nice paper, a clean envelope, and use your best penmanship. You try to choose just the right words. But you realize that the real “power” sending the letter is the stamp attached to the envelope. If there’s a misspelled word or bent corner, you don’t worry about it; the letter will still be delivered as long as it has a stamp. You trust your friend will receive it and appreciate the gesture.
Being sent out by Jesus is not so different. We are like letters sent by God. Our every encouraging word and caring deed can communicate God’s love to the people around us. In fact, St. Paul called the Corinthians “a letter of Christ . . . , written
. . . on tablets that are hearts of flesh”. So of course you’ll want to make your letter the best letter possible. Of course you’ll want to live in a way that reflects God’s goodness and to speak words that lift up people’s hearts. But you also know that the real work of evangelization doesn’t rest only on your skill or effort. You need the stamp of God’s grace.
Yes, the Lord calls us to be shrewd. Yes, being sent out does require our time and effort. But remember: the call to evangelize hinges on two things: the stamp of God’s grace and the letter of your life. Don’t discount the grace! Don’t forget that God wants his word to get out. Don’t forget that he wants to help you be as effective as possible.
So keep on speaking words of hope and performing deeds of kindness. But also rest in the knowledge that it’s not only about you. It’s also about the One who sends you, the God who has sealed you with his grace. He knows about your smudges and bent corners, and he’s sending you anyway because he trusts in the power of the stamp he has affixed to your life.
word among us