Monday, September 2, 2013

The Harvest

As we continue on this journey towards a new church plant, we are frequently asked, "What is the name of the church?" We end up most times shrugging our shoulders and responding, "We don't know." Last Sunday, I filled the pulpit for a colleague who was away on vacation. We had been attending this church when God's call came to move on and establish this new church. In sharing with the congregation that this particular Sunday would be our last and God had a new mission for us, there was enthusiasm mixed with sadness. Inevitably, the question arose, "What is the name of the church?" Sadly, our response was the same, "We don't know." That afternoon my husband and I began discussing possibilities about a church name. He suggested a few names that really resonated with me but I wasn't sure which one was the best. We had just finished lunch and were disposing of our trash when I accidently dropped an apple core on the floor and some seeds fell out. As I looked at the seeds the name, "The Harvest" seemed to stand out. Scriptures began to fill my mind, especially Jesus words to the disciples after He had spoken to the woman at the well in John 4, "Do you not say, 'Four months more and then the harvest'? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest." (John 4:35) The image I had in my mind was focused on the whole process of planting, watering, and harvesting. This is similar to Paul's admonition of the Corinthian church as the believers were arguing and divided about who they followed, Paul or Apollos. Paul tells them, "What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe---as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow." (1 Corinthians 3:5-6) Additionally, there is the Parable of the Sower which is too lengthy to include in this blog but can be found in Matthew 13. The more I thought about the process a seed undergoes to bring forth some food that is ultimately harvested and enjoyed, the more I related the imagery to what the church is called to do. God plants the seed which is experienced in worship. Our intimate relationships with each other and the use of our gifts waters those planted seeds. Finally, in the process of God maturing and growing us in Christ, we go out to serve. In our service we seek to bring forth a rich harvest of new believers for God's honor and glory. This imagery is also very dear to my husband's heart as he is an avid gardener. We can look out our side door at the garden he planted in the early spring, watered, and cared for throughout the summer. The garden is yielding many vegetables which he will soon harvest. We will enjoy that food but also share the abundance with others, and in turn bless them. I thank the Lord for His insight and ask for your prayers for the "Harvest Community Church." We pray that God will be honored and glorified as we move forward.
Be Blessed!
Pastor Sheree

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