“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 10:2, NRSV)
As Christians, everything we do in the public eye is a testimony to our faith in our Lord. When shopping, visiting the doctor’s office or at work, the way in which we dress, act and speak to others, or our activities online — are they examples of how a disciple of Jesus Christ would live? Christ has told us that the harvest is great, and that the labourers are few. If we are truly following Christ, we are supposed to be among His labourers, helping bring more and more souls into the Father’s Kingdom. Is our example a help or a hindrance in bringing souls into the Kingdom of God? Do we pray for the souls of others? Are we trying our best to help others come to know Christ Jesus? Do all of our actions in life bring glory to God?
When reading from the 10th chapter of Luke, I began thinking of three other verses related to harvesting and the responsibilities of being a labourer for the Lord.
“They sow fields, and plant vineyards, and get a fruitful yield. By his blessing they multiply greatly, and he does not let their cattle decrease.” (Ps. 107:37-38, NRSV)
Back in ancient times, when the Psalms were being composed, there was no farm equipment such as we have in existence today. Everything to do with sowing fields and planting vineyards was by hand. No doubt, this was a lot of work for everyone involved. Notice the verse says that the people “brought in an abundant harvest.” To bring in such a harvest, as the Psalmist refers to as “abundant,” this could not have been your common backyard square foot garden situation. Instead, these were vast fields that likely covered several acres. For their intense labour we are told that “God blessed them,” even causing them to greatly increase, along with their livestock not dying. This means that there had to be enough food to feed the people, the livestock and probably more than enough to store in their granaries.
“He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.” (2 Cor. 9:10, NRSV)
“A son who gathers in summer is a credit; a son who slumbers during harvest, a disgrace.” (Prov. 10:5, NAB)
This son can be translated “person” or simply as “someone.” Thus, someone who serves faithfully as a labourer in the harvest, is not only a credit to him or herself, but also to the family and to the Church as a whole. However, as Solomon so wisely warns us, someone who is lazy in their duties, is considered to be a disgrace.
Brothers and sisters, may each of us be about the business of our Lord as labourers in His field, bringing precious souls into His presence. Let us also be prayerful about those who have left the flock because of being hurt or for other reasons. Pray for their salvation, pray for the conversion of sinners, and for the faithful departed. All of these are our responsibility, whether we are clergy or laity.
May God bless you.