Matthew 9:36-38 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”
John 4:34-36 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. 35 Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest. 36 Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together.”
Harvest, [hahr-vist], noun – the season when ripened crops are gathered.
Food, [food], noun – substance taken into the body to sustain life, provide energy, promote growth, etc.
Jesus states that it was his ‘food’ to do the will of the Father, that the fields are “white for harvest”, and that the ‘harvest is plentiful” –as a matter of fact. What do we say today? It is our temptation to say that the forces of evil today are worse than the iron fist of a totalitarian, godless State –the Roman Empire, and therefore we say it is harder to engage in the harvest. Are we right? Should we relegate Jesus’ words to 2100-year-old cliché? Let’s look at some of the evil forces we face:
Western Civilization Culturalist, Scientist, and Secularist: The first 2000 years AD: The Bible so affected history that it was recognized as the best basis of civilization legally, culturally, and politically. However, the Bible was often used whenever convenient for personal advantage. The Bible, where convenient, was used to settle differences if it fit with current scientific and political trends, and was sometimes misused to discriminate, to usurp power, etc. Worldview: Life is about community.
Multiculturalism: Last 100 years: Contemporary political discourse and political philosophy about how to understand and respond to the challenges associated with cultural and religious diversity while rejecting the idea or importance of the presence of any cultural, political, or religious mainstream. (Mainstream ideas are ridiculed and called names: racist, nationalist, homophobe, misogynist, etc.) Differences in religion and culture are to be celebrated and emphasized, not discussed in the context of right or wrong. All ideas are equal. All gods are equal. Worldview: Life is about self.
Globalism: Last 50 years: Power is diffuse, no nation is sovereign, all truth is subject to regional interpretation and is to be accepted, and its trademarks are nativism, nations without borders, corporations beholden to no state or morality, non-state actors with no morality, and mass movements with no leaders. Any religion is personal, but impertinent and unimportant. Truth is what you make it. There is no framework or legitimate basis for ‘absolute truth’. Worldview: Life is about pleasure.
Pray about which applies to you: the principle of the Word, or the principles of the world. Pray that each of us can say: “What sustains me is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.” Pray earnestly about your specific place of work in the harvest field, and how you will pursue it.