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The Harvest

Jesus while on earth promised to send the Holy Spirit. On Pentecost that promise was fulfilled. Pentecost was an ancient Jewish holiday first mentioned in the Law of Moses in Exodus. It was also called the Day of First Fruits, which reflects the fact that Pentecost was a harvest festival. The winter wheat was harvested at the end of May or first of June so it was truly a celebration of the first fruits of the year.

It was no coincidence that the Holy Spirit was poured out on the early Church on the Day of Pentecost. For the idea behind Pentecost and also the coming of the Holy Spirit was harvest. Of course the desire of every farmer is that there might be a bountiful harvest. What is necessary for that to happen? First, there must be vision. A farmer plants seed envisioning a harvest. One day Jesus planted a seed of faith and hope in the heart of a woman by a well in Samaria. Jesus was teaching His disciples that a spiritual harvest was about to take place. Christ said, “Do you not say, `There are yet four months, then comes the harvest`? I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see how the fields are already white for harvest.” (St. John 4:35) As Jesus looked across the fields, the people coming to Him dressed in white robes appeared as a field of wheat ripe for harvest.

The disciples needed a vision of the harvest and so do we. Without a vision of what needs to be done we will invariably do nothing. And if Christians do nothing long enough, the Church will cease to be.

Secondly, we need proper equipment if we are to have a harvest. The farmers of Christ’s day needed oxen and plows just as farmers today use tractors. In the spiritual realm we must also be well equipped.

The Holy Spirit was sent on Pentecost to equip the Church for the great task that lay before her. The Spirit gives us power, strength and wisdom, as well as courage to overcome our fears. Several places in the Epistles we are informed about the gifts of the Spirit which are given to all believers for the work of ministry. (See I Corinthians 12:1-11 & Ephesians 4:11-14) The Holy Spirit has given the Church all of the spiritual equipment we need. We for our part must use our gifts and abilities.

Thirdly, cooperation is essential to a great harvest. Many hands make the work go easier. The task is too great and the field too large for one or two workers to bring in the harvest. Some sow and others reap, but all have an important job to do.

The church at Corinth was making little progress because of a divisive and uncooperative spirit. St. Paul admonished them by saying, “What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are equal, and each shall receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.” (I Cor. 3:5-9) Only in working together will the harvest be a success.

A final element, which should not be overlooked, is joy. In the life of a farmer the culmination of all his hard work is the harvest. Harvest time is the most joyous of times. Pentecost was a great celebration of joy and thanksgiving. Seated by the well in Samaria Jesus said to the disciples, “He who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together.” (St. John 4:36)

The coming of the Holy Spirit marked the beginning of the harvest of souls for God’s Kingdom. The work of harvesting will continue until Christ returns. The great joy of the Christian is to be a part of this on going work. On that first Pentecost God was dramatically showing the Church that the long awaited harvest was now beginning.

by Rev. F. M. Levi

 

Missionary of The Month

Rev. & Mrs. Gerhard Meyer (Grace). Youth/Camp/Pastoral Ministries. Schwarzenborn, Germany.


In Memory

William G. Burdette, age 88, passed away on March 17, 2007. At the time of his death he was living in Birchrunville, PA. He is survived by his four children, five grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.


Mother/Daughter Salad Supper

May 19, 5:30 p.m. in the Parish Hall.


Rummage Sale

Start gathering your small items for the rummage sale on June 9, 2007, 9am-1pm.
Items can be brought to the church from May 29 to June 8. Please call the church office if you have any questions, (708) 614-7404.


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www.andrewrec.org

 

 

 

Happy Birthday!

May 14 – Alex Rago
May 17 – Walter Sellers
May 25 – Jeffrey Schultz

 

 


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The Very Reverend Frank M. Levi, M.A., Rector    Bishop Franklin H. Sellers, D.D., Rector Emeritus    The Reverend Derrick Hassert, Ph.D., Curate    18001 94th Avenue   Tinley Park, IL 60487    (708) 614-7404    FAX (708) 614-7435 AndrewREC.org Home Contact the Webmaster Sign our guestbook View our guestbook

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