FAITH: Being workers for the harvest
I love my daily commute down Martin Luther King Jr. Drive to and from my church office. The fields of hay and grazing cattle make me feel at home and provide a beautiful landscape view of nature and agriculture. The past week most of the hay has been cut and bailed into large round bails making the view even more picturesque. The visual of harvest time has reminded me of the words of Jesus proclaiming an essential Kingdom necessity.
“Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming 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.” Matthew 9:35-38 NIV
The life and teaching of Jesus were always pointing to the Kingdom of God. The good news of the coming of the Kingdom Jesus brought was the proclamation of the advent of God’s Kingdom and His King, Jesus Christ. In announcing His father’s kingdom, Jesus was also letting people know the King of Kings would be one who must go to the cross. This announcement was also an invitation to accept this aspect of God’s will and the transformation of life it would bring.
The prayer of workers for the harvest is for those working to have the heart of a shepherd. A heart like Christ himself. In telling His disciples to ask the Father for workers for the harvest, Jesus is calling His disciples to be the ones who would go forth and proclaim the kingdom. Proclaiming with the intention of a farmer who has the heart of a shepherd. This is the same call all disciples have today.
Over the past few days, our community has seen several devastating losses of wonderful people. Several have been younger than 40 and have even left young children behind. As well, the continued existence of the current global pandemic and toxicity of our national civil and political culture reminds us of the frailty and difficulty of life.
In the same way, I believe it should remind us of the urgency of being workers for the harvest who are intentional about proclaiming the Love of God and the final coming of the Kingdom of Christ. We do not have time to waste anymore, (as if we ever had time to waste). It is more important than ever to have a heart of compassion which drives us to share the Good News of Jesus for the lost to hear and respond to salvation through Jesus!
“And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So, let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.”
Romans 13:11-14 NIV
The latter days in which we live, necessitate the rousing of the church to get serious about the present season. It is the season of the harvest! Farmers know they have a certain window to reap their crops before the weather changes or the crops are no longer viable for harvesting. The time is now, and the night is almost over. When the day comes, so will the King, but this time He will not hang on a cross, He will sit on the throne salvation for all of eternity. Will you be with Him? Will your family, friends and neighbors be there to worship around His throne? We can be, but we must be His farm hands and shepherds enthusiastic about telling others of salvation through Christ and His soon return! The call is upon us, we must decide to answer the call. Let us be Ready!
The night may be coming to an end but will of God is for none to perish! This is why He sent Jesus! That Is GOOD NEWS!
Rev. Brad McKenzie is Lead Pastor at Orange First Church of the Nazarene, 3810 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Orange.
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