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From the Pastor's Desk,

Let's talk about the harvest. As I write this, farmers are probably busy readying their equipment for the fields. The time to chop silage has already come and gone. Soybeans are not quite ready but they're turning fast. The corn is maturing with the stalks beginning to die. All these signs point to a harvest that's coming.

So does the harvest matter? Some would say, “No. I'm not directly affected by the harvest, so why should I care?” But for any of us who live in a farming community, we know that the harvest affects everyone. Landlords and tenants, bankers, business people, doctors and lawyers, teachers and retailers...everyone is either directly or indirectly affected by the harvest.

A short-sighted person can't see the connection. They may even farm themselves and only concern themselves with their own individual fields. But someone with more insight realizes that when the harvest is plentiful everyone benefits.

Jesus tells us that there is a harvest coming. The harvest he promotes is the harvesting of souls. Now that happens gradually as individuals leave this earth and head to their final destination. But that may also happen quickly, if Jesus would choose to return. Like the farmers working on their equipment, we need to ready ourselves for when that harvest day arrives.

We live in a culture of “live and let live” where people suggest that everyone's business is their own. However, that often translates into “die and let die.” People don't naturally care about their neighbor's eternal destination any more. They are reluctant to run the risk of embarrassment that may occur when they try to connect with them. The working assumption is that “If I'm ready for the harvest, that's all that matters.”

But we all benefit from a bountiful harvest. And getting ready for the harvest is about more than just preparing our individual soul for its departure from this life. We need to concern ourselves with everyone's preparations. We need to care about them (sometimes more than they care about themselves.) We need to get involved and get things ready because that harvest is ever approaching.

I thank God for another year of committed volunteers. Many have stayed in their positions and others have filled in where needed. But all of us should be a part of these harvest preparations. We should be doing what we can for God's kingdom in whatever capacity we can. If you're gifted with finances, give. If you've been gifted with hospitality, invite. If you have a gift of discernment, find ways to make our church better (perhaps serving on the consistory.)

Everyone has a gift. You may not have explored that gift or developed that gift, but everyone has a gift. All those gifts need to be used in the harvest preparations. Don't make the mistake of being unprepared for the harvest. Don't be self-centered and worry only about yourself. Find new ways to work for the harvest. As Jesus says, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.”

In His Service,

Pastor Gary

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