Pastor’s Musings – Summer 2021
As harvest season is wrapping up, we know it wasn’t the best harvest. Fields were thin and yields were low.
But there is another harvest that Jesus promises will be more plentiful.
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “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.” (Matthew 9:36–38, ESV)
As Jesus looked around Him, He saw people struggling. He saw people hurting. He saw people discouraged. He saw people lost. He knew that without Him they would remain so. Jesus’ heart is summed up in the following verse:
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Matthew 11:28–29, ESV)
Jesus wants us to find rest for our weary souls. But Jesus also noted a problem. “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few…”
There is a great opportunity to bring people to Jesus so they can find rest for their souls and yet there are few that are bringing people to Jesus. This application does not just apply to just “those out there.” We need to examine ourselves and ask the question, “Have I been proactively bringing people to meet Jesus?”
At his point many people say, “But I don’t know how.” There are 3 quick answers to that. 1) Invite them to come to church with you; 2) Invite them to read through the Gospel of John with you. Maybe meet once a week and read a chapter and discuss it. That’s something that can be done in 30 – 40 minutes; 3) Sign up for a class on how to share Jesus with others. On that last note, I plan on hosting a 4 session class sometime this fall on how to do just that.
The final thing that Jesus says is to, “…pray and ask the Heavenly Father to send out workers into His harvest.” Not only are we to step up and volunteer to be one, we are to pray that God prompts others to do the same. And for those who the thought of sharing Jesus with someone else intimidates them, the last part of that phrase brings encouragement. It says to ask to send workers into HIS harvest. In other words, in your prayers ask God to send you to the person, or bring the person to you to whom He wants you to share. That does free up some anxiety, but then we need to take advantage of the opportunity when it does arrive. That being said, we still need to be proactive about it. If we just wait for it to happen, we might get lazy and then miss our opportunity.
My final thought on this is from Psalm 126.
Restore our fortunes, O Lord, like streams in the Negeb! Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him. (Psalm 126:4–6, ESV)
Although there is a historical context to this, there is also a spiritual principle. The Negeb was a dry desert region towards the southern end of Israel, and sowing seeds is used as a metaphor for sharing the Word of God, The Good News of Jesus with others. There are times when we are in a desert season of life and we are crying out for seasons of blessing, but the Psalm tells us that even in season of tears, if we continue to do God’s work and share Jesus with other, God will bless it and we will be blessed as we see others come to know Jesus. The seeds that we sow, will end up in sheaves of grain at the harvest.
The point. Pray for a heart of compassion like Jesus. Look around and find those who are hurting and need a touch from Jesus. They could be ones who don’t know Jesus or those who do. Reach out to them and share Jesus with them as the Holy Spirit leads. Ask God to send others out to help in this mission. Finally, give Him praise for the harvest to come as a result. We may not always see the harvest, but we in faith can rejoice that it will come. If He leads and we follow, we can know He will bring it to pass.
Until next time, I think, therefore I have thought and I share those musings with you (Psm. 77:11-14, NASB).
Pastor Jon Hayashi