Monday, September 1, 2014

David Pendeleton Oakerhater

After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. He said to them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves. Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and greet no one on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, `Peace to this house!' And if anyone is there who shares in peace, your peace will rest on that person; but if not, it will return to you. Remain in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide, for the laborer deserves to be paid. Do not move about from house to house. Whenever you enter a town and its people welcome you, eat what is set before you; cure the sick who are there, and say to them, `The kingdom of God has come near to you.'" Luke 10:1-9

I have been blessed to go to the Whirlwind Mission and to see the place where David Pendleton Oakerhater served. As as prisoner of war, this brilliant Cheyenne man heard the Gospel and became a warrior for God's love. He was ordained a deacon and served out his ministry as a deacon, never being granted the opportunity to be ordained a priest. Despite incredible challenges, he served lovingly, faithfully and without complaint or despair. As a Native person, I take courage from his steadfast faith and service.

Today in our Gospel we hear Jesus sending 70 others out to carry the good news of God's love. They were given little preparation, no direction and no income. And yet they went with joy and shared God's love with those who would hear them, who would welcome them and make room for good news. We can find ourselves in times of great challenge and despair and take heart from these 70 and Deacon David who went with joy and built a legacy for so many of faith and courage.

Today may we be warriors for God's love. May we not look at our lack nor count the cost but rather give our all so that many may know the touch of God's presence and healing. May we our anxiety and go forth with the courage of the saints to share what we have been given.

Collect of the Day: David Pendleton Oakerhater, Deacon and Missionary, 1931
O God of unsearchable wisdom and infinite mercy, you chose a captive warrior, David Oakerhater, to be your servant, and sent him to be a missionary to his own people, and to exercise the office of a deacon among them: Liberate us, who commemorate him today, from bondage to self, and empower us for service to you and to the neighbors you have given us; through Jesus Christ, the captain of our salvation; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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