Farmland

Posted: September 15, 2013 in Theological Thoughts
Tags: , ,

My wife and me at the farm (notice the field behind)

A few months ago my brother got married on the front porch of his wife’s family farmhouse in Illinois. I had the privilege of attending and being a groomsmen. Standing there on the porch and looking out, I beheld miles and miles of picturesque farmland, literally as far as the eye could see. For this Michigander turned Floridian it was a beautiful sight.

Remembering that scene brings to mind the words of Jesus in John 4:35 NIV, “I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.” This verse is used to encourage believers to look past themselves and see people (the harvest) who are lost in life without Jesus. Growing up in church, I have heard this most of my life with the connotation that the lost harvest should come into the church (the barn) and find Jesus. If that’s the case, after resigning my youth pastorate a week and a half ago, my opportunities for meaningful ministry should lessen substantially. I’m sad about that.

Standing on the porch in Illinois I saw harvest farmland for miles around. It would be silly to think the harvest would magically move into the barns where the waiting farmers would receive them. Thinking Jesus was talking about lost people coming into the church to be saved and me thinking my opportunities have lessened are just as silly. Granted, staff pastors do have great opportunities for ministry and lost people do come to know Jesus in churches, but typically people go out into the fields to harvest and then bring the harvest into the barns. I think that’s more of what Jesus meant. I have the opportunity for this season of my life to follow Jesus’ lead and go out eyes open into the ripe harvest fields of lost people. I’m excited about that!

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