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Grace Nuggets: Simple reminders of God’s great love for you.

Grace Nuggets: Simple reminders of God’s great love for you.

Grace Nuggets: Simple reminders of God’s great love for you.

Grace Nuggets: Simple reminders of God’s great love love you.

It’s harvest time. For those of you involved in any aspect of the agriculture industry, or even those who enjoy home gardening, you know what that means. It’s a time of urgency, as you try to get the ‘crop’ in before the first freeze, or snow flies.

It’s a time of preparation as you store away the harvest for later use. It’s a time of celebration as well.

While harvest is exciting, the process of getting to harvest, while equally important, seems to be less so from my perspective. Without a vision of the future, throwing a few seeds in the ground, hoping for rain, weeding and cultivating as needed seems a bit less exciting.

One only needs to drive through the countryside, or if you are like me, look out the window, to see the activity surrounding harvest. I’ll admit, I’m not a farmer, and my attempts at gardening? Well let’s just say I’m very thankful for Farmer’s Markets in the summer and produce aisles the rest of the year. Weeds, weather and wildlife tended to show me it was/is better to bless those of you who succeed in this area. So pardon any ignorance in this meditation.

On the other hand, when you have a vision of what can be, the pre-harvest activities take on a whole new meaning. I’m guessing few plant with no expectation of harvest or plant and then do nothing at all to help the crop. It’s the expectation of harvest celebration that drives the preparing, planting, and cultivating.

Jesus lived in a heavily agricultural society and loved to use life lessons from what he and others saw.

One day he and the disciples were traveling through enemy territory, Samaria. Jews hated Samaritans and the feeling was mutual. He sat by a well and waited for his disciples to go into town to get some food. While waiting, a woman came to draw water. She came at that time of day because she wanted to avoid the stares and disdain of the other women in town. This woman had a reputation, and was tired of the abuse.

If there was anything a normal Jewish man hated more than a Samaritan, it would be a Samaritan woman. But Jesus didn’t see a Samaritan Woman, he saw a hurting soul. Women in Jesus’ day were treated as property. The woman in this story saw a Jewish man and like all men, especially Jewish ones, she naturally assumed he was a user, abuser and a narcissistic jerk.

The two struck up a conversation that would change the life of this woman, and the village she lived in. Jesus planted a seed and saw a harvest. He didn’t look at her past, but what she could become. He didn’t see her gender, her culture or even her (false) understanding of God as a hinderance to planting a seed.

From what I hear, plowing and planting in ground that has never been cultivated is a special kind of challenge. Maybe that makes harvest even more or a celebration! When the disciples returned with food Jesus said he had food they knew nothing about. He’d experienced the celebration of harvest!

“The harvesters are paid good wages, and the fruit they harvest is people brought to eternal life. What joy awaits both the planter and the harvester alike!” (John 4:36)

Later, the Apostle Paul would write, “It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow.” (1 Corinthians 3:7)

To those of you who have planted seed, and are now harvesting, thank you. Your efforts are feeding your family, your community and the world! In the spiritual realm, may the seeds we sow of love, forgiveness, grace and acceptance yield a spiritual harvest we may not know about until we see Jesus face to face.

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