18/08/2021 by Rev. Doug Walker 0 Comments
Fruits of our Labor
As seen in the HEARTbeat and Villlage Voice
Fruits of Our Labor
Growing up as a kid, we moved around a lot. My father was in the military, so every two to three years we moved to another spot somewhere around the world. But there was one constant – if there was an appropriate spot of ground available, we had a garden. And there were even some places where we had plastic buckets with tomato plants in them when there was no area for a garden. It just seemed like a part of life that rolled around every Spring and Summer.
When my father retired from the military, he bought a home in a little town in western Arkansas which sat on an area the size of a half city block. Having grown up in the latter part of the depression, both my parents knew the value of self-sufficiency, and a garden was key to that mindset. He had an extremely large garden, and it all needed to be watered, weeded, and tended on a daily basis.
Working in the garden wasn’t easy, in fact it was sometimes very hard. But if we wanted to enjoy the fruits and vegetables from the garden we had to work. Everything from garden seemed to taste better than that from the store. The watermelons were sweeter as were the cantaloupes, the tomatoes bigger and juicier, and the potatoes were half the size of a football. Yes, it was hard work toiling in the garden, but the rewards were well worth it.
Many times, Jesus told parables relating to gardening and farming. He spoke of planting seeds in the right soil, minding the good plants from weeds, and then destroying the weeds, and then He spoke of the harvest. The people in ancient times measured the year relative to farming practices: planting, growing, maturing, and the harvest.
At no time during a growing season would a farmer allow the weeds to take over their garden or field. I believe we are at this time in the age of the church. It seems like the weeds are taking over the fertile ground into which the seeds of Christianity are planted. The church is being attacked and any references to Christians made by the news media are such words as “the religious right” or the “ultra conservative,” both meaning to degrade the church.
It may not be harvest time, when Jesus comes for the church, but we may be looking at a time with the “Lord of the harvest” proclaims a time for weeding. The good crop needs to stand alone in the fields without being choked by the weeds, or the tares. For that to happen, the crops need to grow above all others. In other words, we need a revival in this country and around the world.
Will you be counted as a worker in the field? To enjoy the bounty, we need to daily work in order to see a bountiful harvest. God will reward the workers, and the fruit of His labor is the sweetest ever!