Lord of The Harvest
As I drive into the office in Winnipeg, MB several times a week, I have plenty of time to watch the landscape change around me. Over the past several months fields have gone from bare ground to small plants piercing the ground to standing green crops soaking in the summer sunshine. As the summer moves on the crops begin to change color as they mature and ripen. It is actually quite humbling to see how the Lord works on this physical land sending rain and sun and nourishment from the ground until at last the crops are ready for harvest. And over the past several weeks the landscape has been filled with harvesters taking in the crop for the year.
This image of a harvest is one which Jesus used as he spoke to his disciples about the task ahead of them to bring the Gospel message to the world. There were many coming to hear him speak and see his miracles, but there was a great need for workers to teach and shepherd these people and ultimately to bring in the great harvest.
In Matthew 9:35-38 we read, “Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."
We live in a time where there is a great harvest waiting to be gleaned, yet time is limited. Not only do we await the return of the Lord, but the world pulls at people from all sides, seeking to pull in the harvest for itself. The world is full of people seeking after something and the world will gladly offer an option. With so many voices at play, bringing the Gospel to the world is vital because only the Lord is truly able to satisfy.
As we look towards the harvest of faith, we can trust that the Lord will lead us and equip us for the work that lies ahead. It may not be an easy work as more and more we need to be clear on the message we bring as the rest of the world gets louder and louder. But whether we are bringing the Good News to someone for the first time or are spending time helping someone explore questions they have about faith; we can trust that the Lord of the harvest will provide.
Yet, as Jesus calls his disciples to do, we must not cease praying that God would continue to raise up workers for the harvest – in our homes, our workplaces, our schools, our neighborhoods and around the world – and to help us remain faithful in that call ourselves.
In the end, as with the physical crops coming off the fields along my drive into work, all things ultimately depend on the Lord. So, we can give thanks to the Lord of the Harvest for his faithfulness, his mercy and for his promise to equip us for the harvest work he has called us to.
This article was originally published in The Recorder Vol 60 No. 5