Harvest Time

I’m learning what it means to be a pastor in an agricultural community. The people I am growing to know and love are deeply tied to the land, and there’s a rhythm to life here in Warden that I’m beginning to recognize.

As I’m writing this, harvest time is beginning. Growing up in suburbia, I’d always thought that harvest time was a fairly fixed point on the calendar; I’d somehow come to think that sometime in the fall, all farmers would climb into their harvesting machines, and “do” the harvesting. In my mind, this usually took place sometime around October (probably because of all of the “harvest parties” that many churches give as an “alternative” to Halloween).

However, many of my new friends are working long hours to get their crops in… and apparently, the harvest season is a lot longer than I’d previously imagined. There seems to be a flow to the process; you work like crazy when one crop is ready, and then just as one has been gathered, the next crop is ready for harvest as well.

I’m learning that timing is pretty crucial in harvesting as well. Our community is keeping an eye on the weather, trying to gauge which particular crop is ready, and which crop needs a bit more growing time. There’s an interesting quote about harvest that I’ve just read: “Timing of the harvest often amounts to a significant gamble.”

I’m sensing the same kind of activity in my own soul as well. As I’m coming to know our church family, I’m learning what kinds of issues have taken root in our hearts. There are certain people who are “ready” to take their next step in faith, and there are others who need just a bit more growing time.

St. Paul writes in his letter to the Galatians: “Don’t be fooled. You can’t outsmart God. A man gathers a crop from what he plants. Some people plant to please their sinful nature. From that nature they will harvest death. Others plant to please the Holy Spirit. From the Spirit they will harvest eternal life. Let us not become tired of doing good. At the right time we will gather a crop if we don’t give up. So when we can do good to everyone, let us do it. Let us make a special point of doing good to those who belong to the family of believers.” (Gal. 6:7-10, NIRV)

So… I’m trying to learn to read our spiritual “weather” as well: I’ve got to learn to watch the signs for storms ahead, as well as learn to make hay while the Son shines. Joining you in the work, let’s Keep Following Jesus – Pastor Ed


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Pastor Ed Backell

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