School’s out – It’s Harvest Time

I’ve just picked our littlest princess up from school early. The end of term excitement is bubbling up as summer has arrived with 6 long weeks before us, giving space for lie ins, holidays, day trips and general fun. Rest is on the cards for the teachers as they get to spend more time with their own children and families.   We’ll watch our children grow at least a foot before our eyes, as this terms uniform will testify in September when shoes and clothes no longer fit.   A different routine where rest , fresh air and fun makes them develop more.

 It hasn’t always been like that though. This long summer break has it’s roots in our agriculture heritage.  Education was put on hold because everyone was needed for a new season’s task.  An army of people would descend on the fields ripe with harvest.   Whole families went to live in make shift homes on farms by the coast and formed new communities. The gathering in of the crops began at dawn each day and when the tally man said enough had been picked they stopped to go and fetch water from the well and would eat around a camp fire sharing all that they had between them.  Parties would often break out long into the night as they celebrated the amount that they had managed to gather together. Other people had planted the seeds and tended the crops as they grew but now all these labourers, young and old, gathered the harvest together.  Long days and hard work but time was of the essence -the harvest was ripe and ready and needed to be brought in.

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This history isn’t relevant to our educational system now but I think it is to our spiritual journey.  John 4 says:-

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Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.  Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together.  Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. I sent you to reap what you have not worked for.

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If we open our eyes to what God is doing in this season we find ourselves in, we will notice that the field of people waiting to be gathered into the family of God are everywhere. The back drop of news and life’s events in 2016 has been busy ploughing and preparing the ground.  Celebrity deaths; fear from Brexit, our economy changing, bad news stories of terrorism in other countries have been constantly reported in the media. And very present in people’s lives closer to home too.  It’s made people question what is going on as they look for order in the chaos and security in the confusion. People are questioning deeper what life is about and as a result lives are ripe for the good news that is Jesus. I really believe people are waiting to hear and respond.  We may of only just met them, or known people for a long time but the time is now to harvest and gather them in.

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It’s a season to change the routine we find ourselves in. The culture of church as a classroom of information or encounter is moving to a field trip where the truths are experienced by putting it all into practise outside the constraints of 4 walls.. We can pause the teaching programs that we create because the fields are ripe and the harvest is ready and we need to mobilise ourselves with confidence for the task at hand.  We are going to do that by sharing life together in closer proximity to our ‘neighbours’. We’ll reap a harvest when we share what we have -the Life of Jesus.

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And yes we need more labourers. The pastors or the full time evangelists need an increased army of labourers to be joining in. Everyone in the family of God is involved in forming a community where every generation participates. The young people amongst us have lots of skills that can be harnessed to including them and shouldn’t be overlooked. Think of the young shepherd boy, David, who changed his community by defeating a giant. Or the small boy who offered his loaves and fishes to Jesus so that everyone got feed.  Jesus often uses unexpected people to bring the break through.

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So it’s a summer break, a different routine but in God it’s a season to move things up a gear. We are not on ‘holiday’ from his kingdom . I want to encourage all of us to open our eyes to see where He is working and to get involved in speaking Life to the people we meet. Although my last blog had some prayer points on the situation in France,it is also very relevant to the season the Body of Christ is in. We need to press in for more of God focusing on Him so we are not distracted by the voices of fear. We need eyes to see what is happening in the spiritual realm and partner with God to establish His kingdom here now.  God is making a new creation So be bold to speak Jesus into the conversations. Offer to pray with them more or for them. Challenge people to meet Jesus.     School’s out (not just for the children)– the harvest is ready.

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5 Responses to School’s out – It’s Harvest Time

  1. Angela Jelf says:

    Love this, Sarah. Fascinating history about harvest time- this has stirred something in my heart.

    • google hop picking for more on the harvest season. There is a farm in Kent that I took a school trip too years ago which was a great day out and I was reminded of it yesterday. I’m stirred that our sharing Jesus is moving from a ‘come and see’ in our buildings to a ‘go and tell’ amongst the people in a much deeper, powerful way. x

      • Angela Jelf says:

        I was only praying about this very thing this morning- musing over the fact that Jesus ministry was going out and about from place to place- not remaining within four walls. Have been reading about Hebredean Revival and how it was two little old women who couldn’t even make it to church any longer due to arthritis and blindness that birthed the revival! I wholeheartedly believe in the local church but I think we expect people to come in to our programmes…when we’ve got to go into the highways and byways!

  2. Love this!! I totally agree that the church needs to move out beyond the four walls. We are all called to ‘do the stuff’ in our unique God given sphere of influence.
    Enjoy the summer hols and may the fruit for the kingdom be bountiful. Be blessed.

  3. kingsoracle says:

    Awesome post, a reminder for us all, not be complacent. swing in the sickle the harvest is ready.

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