We are completing a month of Harvest Celebrations and Youth Week activities. A month where some may say, “I did not feel harvest at all”, while others would say, “Harvest was wonderful.” Over the years, as I sit in the pew, share in conversation with others, I listen to many on their growth in the church especially around the various celebration and high points of the church. Harvest is one such high point, but do many of us understand that? There are three sets of people who embrace and feel the harvest traditions in their own particular way, quite distinctively, and here is where I will share them.
Those who feel Harvest through the fruits and vegetables. These people see their contribution to the Harvest celebration by bringing their first fruit or vegetables to the table of God. They see that God should get their best from their provisions. Some go as far as to buy or make a brand new dress or shirt for the special occasion. They save and build on what they can give in kind, and their giving, may or may not be recognized by others. More or less, that does not bother them as long as it pleases God. They feel that sense of fulfillment when they contribute to the harvest table.
Those who look to feel Harvest by singing the “Harvest” hymns. These persons look forward to singing the melodies of the day, which may include, “Yes, God is Good in Earth and Sky” or “We Plough the Fields and Scatter”. These hymns give them a sense of the harvest glory, give them hope, draw their minds to creation and remind them how blessed and precious they are.
Those who see the Harvest as the bringing of others to the fold of God. They spend their time just telling the gospel of Jesus Christ to everyone they meet. They even see beyond the day of Harvest and work the “fields of souls” throughout their lives. They spend time in constant prayer and renewal of their faith by taking every opportunity to hear God’s voice in every form of worship and allow the Holy Spirit to transform their lives, renew their faith and increase their joy. They just see themselves as ‘bringing in the sheaves’.
My brothers and sisters, the above three points do not rate themselves greater than the other, but all combine to show what Harvest really means to us. The bringing of our best fruits, whether in kind, time, talents, money, gifts; the singing of our hymns with every fiber in our bones, basking in God’s unfailing love and preparing and putting ourselves to feel the music of God’s grace in our lives; then learning more of God, having Jesus as our personal Lord and Saviour, and sharing God’s love through Jesus Christ with all. Harvest should always be transforming, caring, loving, supporting, and it is our role to show and act accordingly. This afternoon, at the Wesley Methodist Church is “Best of the Harvest,” What has been your BEST of the harvest?”
May you be harvested to whom God needs you to be.