This week the lectionary reading sees Jesus sending out the 72 on an evangelical mission (Lk 10:1-11, 16-20). He does not send them out without guidance and issues instructions on what to say and do. What is interesting is that He also prepares them for failure.
When we try and carry out some evangelical programme and don’t see results it is all too easy to worry that we have done something wrong. If this is God’s work surely it would succeed? Not so, says Jesus. There will be some who refuse to listen to us at this time. We should not worry about this but move on. Maybe the next person will make the breakthrough and we have softened their hearts a little as preparation? Evangelism is a long term project, not a quick fix; the work is too important to give up easily.