The following verse connected some disparate thoughts that have been floating around in the slough of my brain. So I'm placing a marker here, on this page, because I have trouble remembering.
At our Tuesday night Bible study, a friend closed the study with a familiar passage: "And he said to them, 'The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest' " (Luke 10.2, NASB).
As he read the passage, the combination dial turned and the contact points clicked gently into place: We are both the pray-ers and the laborers. We are both the senders and the sent. If you are a Christ-follower, then you are a laborer in his harvest. Jesus did not bring us into the kingdom for pew-sitting. Atonement is not simply for you and me, but for the nations. And it is too small a thing for the Servant to redeem us from sin and death. He redeemed us for life, for living, for living with and for others. He saved us so that no matter where we might be we would herald Jesus as Lord. He is Lord over all the earth - over every place, over every government, and over every authority.
Any other thing for which I live my life - recognition, wealth, success, admiration, patriotism, church, family, me - is trash. Christ is all. The One who made lambs, made tygers; the One who made a baby's softness, made a father's whiskers. He made the stars, and he made the cold vastness between. And this same Holy One calls me to labor for him and for his kingdom. So I labor. I labor for his kingdom as I shepherd my children. I labor for his kingdom when I bless those who only know how to curse. I labor for his kingdom as I become every man's slave. I am his laborer because he is Lord. And his burden is light.
This is not nothing. It is the gospel.
(ScottB has been discussing these ideas at his site far more thoroughly and clearly than I have here. It's good reading. I appreciate it, Berkhimer.)