In the first lesson of today's Daily Office readings, God takes Moses up to show him the land the people will soon inhabit. God reveals that Moses won't be entering the Promised Land. Moses doesn't argue. Perhaps he's just plain tired by now. He asks only one thing: that God name a successor, that he may be assured a new prophet has picked up his staff.
Whatever job we take on, large or small, we always wish for a reliable successor. Knowing that someone will carry on the work helps us to feel that our energy was not wasted. In today's Gospel, Jesus begins recruiting the twelve who will continue his work. Just one could never handle it.
Church folk often say that we should "get" more young people to be active in church. What motivates this sentiment? Are we anxious about whether anyone will keep an institution going that we enjoy, at least until we are decrepit and in need of its ministrations? Or are we eager to pass on the staff of prophecy, calling our world to experience and share God's love?
No one wants to be "gotten." Speaking about "getting" others to support our cause hints at an anxious motive. The world doesn't need any more anxiety, so no one will join us to share some of that. But people of all ages do need acceptance, and a safe place to express their voice and gifts. If we commit to being that place, God will take care of the rest.