What a great time of year. The air is cool and crisp at night. The leaves are on the edge of exploding into hundreds of shades of colors and the school buses are back in operation. Many fields have already been harvested and the rest are soon to be. This must be a favorite time for the farmer. I am sure Jesus welcomed this time of year as well. The above Bible verse is a call for disciples to go, make disciples. It is not to difficult to imagine our Lord, looking out over a ripened grain field, white for the harvest, and use it as an illustration of the church’s mission. Here are three thoughts on the harvest.
Like the farmer whose seeds have been sowed some time ago, God has prepared the fields of man with His word being preached. God has made ready through normal life events, the souls of people who finally consider the reality of the only true God. Their guilt and shame lead them to the desire for rescue. People are disheartened over the evil, injustice and sinfulness in the world. Nature reminds us that He is everywhere, He created all things and He knows everyone. These are the people that need to be harvested.
God uses His own people to DO the harvesting. Jesus said, “The workers are few..” He is referring to His church as compared to the rest of the worlds population. There is also an urgency to get to the souls that need harvesting. “Beseech the Lord of the harvest...” As an urgent request, a deep personal appeal for help this work must be done quickly and now. During harvest time, the farmer needs to get in his crops with a pressing, high priority. Otherwise the plants may over ripe and rot, or be destroyed by nature, rains or hail storm. It may be ruined by fire or disease, insects or even hurricane winds. Many things threaten the fruit of his labor. “..to send out workers into His harvest.” God uses His people, His workers, His disciples to DO the harvesting and they understand this desperate situation.
“Also you shall observe the Feast of the Harvest of the first fruits of your labors from what you sow in the field..”.(Exodus23:16) When the work is done and the crops are put up in the barn, it’s time to celebrate! Cultures around the world recognize this joyous event with feasting and cheerful gatherings. Disciples of Christ rejoice when the harvest has been brought into the fold. When the searching, repentant soul meets Jesus through the sharing of the scripture and is born again in baptism, a great celebration takes place in the congregation and in the throne room of God! Angels rejoice! This is the most important work that can be done on earth.
Let our focus be bringing in the harvest to the Lord’s kingdom church. Thank God for Godly workers.