“After this the Lord appointed seventy[a] others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” Luke 10:1-2 (NRSV)
As you read this, we will be wrapping up our forty days of fruitful living together. You, I, we have been challenged to “be fruit inspectors”, to evaluate how ripe and ready our spiritual fruit is for the harvest. Galatians chapter five, verses twenty-two and twenty three give us a tool. How filled are we with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control? Matthew chapter thirteen gives us the parable of the sower to challenge us to ask how the “busyness” and “burdens of life choke our fruit and can leave us filled with bitterness, anger, hatred, jealousy, strife, quarrellings, factions, etc. My hope is we have been encouraged to see the opportunities in front us to reap a great harvest of the fruit of God’s spirit in our lives. Five Practices of Fruitful Living gives us five practical tools to learn how to reap a great harvest in our lives.
As we reap this harvest in our lives, God asks us how we can sow these seeds into other people’s lives. How can we separately and together help others reap a harvest of spiritual fruit in their lives as well? Radical Hospitality teaches us how to embrace and receive God’s love in our lives. It also teaches us how to reach out to help others embrace and receive God’s unconditional love. Passionate worship teaches us how to return that love to God, How to express our love for God. It also teaches us how to help others to express and return their love for God through worship. Intentional Faith Development teaches us how to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, how to become more like Christ. We are called to encourage each other to do this together. Risk-taking Mission and Service reminds us that as followers of Jesus, we are called to be willing make sacrifices to help others the way Jesus sacrificed himself, he gave his all for us. How can we separately and together reach out to help others accept and embrace God’s love? Finally God has so generously offered and given so much for us, how can we be extravagant in the way we generously give to God and others?
During November, as we reflect on a season of thanksgiving and the harvest God so generously offers us, we will as how can we each separately and together give back. How can we financially support our church family so we can do ministry to meet the needs of our congregation as well and the community, nation and world? We will also be asked how we can share the talents God has given us to be the hands, lips and heart of Christ?
Is God calling you to be part of the Radical Hospitality Team to reach out to people inside and outside of our church walls? Is God calling you to be part of the passionate worship team to make worship the best possible experience, pleasing to both God and others? Maybe you are being called to be part of intentional faith development to help people of all ages to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ, to become more and more like Jesus. Perhaps you are willing to be a risk-taker and reach out in mission and ministry to help the lost and hurting. Lastly, are you so grateful for all God has given you, you feel called to be part of the team that helps others to want to cheerfully give back to God financially. Ask yourself and pray about how God is calling you to be one of the workers to help others reap God’s harvest.