Scripture

Harvest Festival

Here in this series on the book of John, I’m skipping over Jesus’ interaction with the woman at the well. There is so much to unpack there that I’ll just leave it. Instead, Jesus says something else I want to focus on.

I’ve written a little about fitness and dieting and my different approaches. There is one method of dieting that if I employed it would work every time. It’s to do something creative.

There have been times when I’ve been so focused on something creative that I go without eating. I don’t even feel hunger until I pause my work. This happens with artists, scientists, and probably other professions. (We also sometimes go without attending to hygiene.) My food becomes what I’ve been created for.

[pullquote] The numbers are depressing, those in the West who reject Christianity and, perhaps more tellingly, the Church. [/pullquote]Jesus’ close followers returned presumably from having bought food in the village, and they discovered Jesus talking with the Samaritan woman at the well. After she left, likely predicated by their raised eyebrows, the disciples urged him to eat.

But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” So the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought him something to eat?” —John 4:32–33 (ESV)

Then he proceeds to tell them about something far more significant than food.

Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest. Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.” ­­—John 4:34–38 (ESV)

Jesus’ work is greater, and he invites us to it. We only need to look with spiritually perceptive eyes to see the harvest. The numbers are depressing, those in the West who reject Christianity and, perhaps more tellingly, the Church. But I don’t think Jesus sees it this way.

Look around, he says, for there is a great harvest waiting. We have not sown, yet we reap.

My church just began a sermon series called “Image Is Everything: Pictures of the Church,” and I’ll be preaching the final weekend. So this post will transition well for a few posts I’ll write in the coming weeks, results of my study and preparation.

God is changing my perception of church. I encourage you to “lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.”

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