We’re in the throes of Missions Month here at FHC, North Shore. It has slowly transmogrified from a totally off-shore focus to one that balances the mission at home with the more trad focus on mission to foreign peoples. So here is my Pete’s Page contribution to last Sunday’s bulletin:
recognising the harvest
It was a really pretty sight, driving through fields of towering, blazing sunflowers. Row after row, growing right up to the edge of the road. The whole district seemed to burn with a bright golden light lent by the reflected glory of myriad sunflowers. Lots of photos were taken; close-ups, macros, landscape wide shots of the whole scene, portraits with each of us in front of or emerging from the temporary floral maze. Then of course we got into a conversation about what they were there for; florists, seeds for birds, oils and cooking products were all put forward. Gradually the spectacle took on a different character. It went from a pretty spectacle to being an amazing harvest full of potential, waiting to be gathered in and processed.
When you become conscious of the diverse sea of humanity that surrounds us, what do you see or hear? Is it just a morass of mixed up humanity, too many people trying to squeeze into too limited a space on our part of the Planet? A rich diversity of colours, cultures and communities? A potentially booming market for whatever business you’re into?
Or do you see a harvest? A rich and potential-laden community of recipients for the great good news of God’s astonishing love demonstrated in Jesus? People we could reach and touch with God’s life-changing Message?
Jesus said that there were more than enough people who were ready to respond to the Message of God’s love, but that the lack was of people willing to find them and bring them the Message from God. He said to pray for people to go, and yet His challenge carried with it the call to become part of the answer to such prayers.
In the ancient culture, harvesting was not a specialist job it was something the whole community joined in until all the crops were collected. I believe it’s the same with this community of God’s people; we’re not to leave the task of taking out the Message to religious or evangelistic specialists. Rather we are to all to take our place in the call to join the Lord in the harvest of seeking souls.
We’re not just fellow-travellers with the rest of humanity; we have a God-given purpose to demonstrate and tell of the hope that never disappoints. Can you see it?