[Jesus said], “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”
One of the joys of living where I do is that we get to experience all four seasons and the beauty and wonder that God displays through them.
Sometimes we can experience all four seasons in one weekend! But usually we get them at the normal times.
My favorite summer field is that of corn. The stalks of sweet corn are about knee high right now.
The old adage is that corn should be “knee high by the Fourth of July.” Not anymore, however. Farmers can plant corn about a month or so earlier than they could 50 years ago due to advancements of seed genetics and farming techniques.
A field of growing corn, or wheat, or barley, or soybeans, all are sure signs of summer here on the Illinois prairie.
But a field ripe for harvest also is sign of the work of the Church, according to Jesus.
Jesus tells us to pray to the Lord of the harvest – meaning God the Father – to send out workers into the harvest field. But he doesn’t mean farmers and the field isn’t a corn field.
The harvest field is the world. The crop is all the people of the world.
The seed that was planted by the Holy Spirit is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit used as his sowers the people of the Church.
When we share the Good News of Jesus Christ and his birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension (the Gospel), the Holy Spirit plants seeds of faith into each person who hears it.
Through the continued holy watering of God’s Word, faith can sprout and take root in a person. The Means of Grace can continue to cultivate the seed and soon a harvest will be ready!
The sad news is that not everyone accepts the seed of the Gospel. The reject it, toss it away, and continue in their deadly, sin-filled ways.
That’s why Jesus calls on his Church to pray for harvest workers – to sow seed, be the means to cultivate the seed, and finally to bring the harvest in from the fields.
It is all God’s work but he graces us with the power of the Holy Spirit to participate in his work!
Please join me in prayer for harvest workers (which includes you!):
Almighty and gracious God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, you have commanded us to pray that you would send forth laborers into your harvest. Of your infinite mercy give us true teachers and ministers of your Word who truly fulfill your command and preach nothing contrary to your holy Word. Grant that we, being warned, instructed, nurtured, comforted, and strengthened by your holy Word, may do those things which are well pleasing to you and profitable for our salvation; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
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