As leaves change color and temperatures cool, I am reminded that the transition to fall has traditionally revolved around the harvest. The word harvest has many meanings, however, at its root it reflects the process of gathering in crops. During the harvest, farmers would come together to bring in the fruits of their fields, provide meals for their families and feed the local communities: the fruits of the land nourished generations. It was an essential cycle of the year that could provide for the hard months of winter.
The idea of the harvest is seen throughout the Bible too. One example can be found in John 15:1-10, Jesus calls us the branches that connect to Jesus the vine. The whole vine is cared for by God the vine grower. When we stay close to Jesus, through our good choices and kind actions, the whole vine thrives; we all thrive and the harvest is plentiful.
However, being kind and just, thoughtful and righteous isn’t enough if only done one day or a few days of our lives. The vine needs constant care and attention, and so do our communities of neighbors and communities of faith. There is much that could easily divide our efforts and pin us at odds with each other, but it’s important to keep in the forefront of our minds, who Jesus calls us to be each day.
Long ago, one man did take the time and made the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf, even before Jesus even met us. Of course, he wasn’t just a man and Jesus is a tough act to follow, but that’s exactly what we’re called to do: be a disciple, to follow Jesus in both word and deed. Yet, we are not alone: we have the Holy Trinity to love and guide us, as well as the entire community to support each other.
This harvest season, may we be reminded of the beauty of change, the need for change, that can allow new life to bloom. This harvest season, may we be reminded that all colors and shapes and origins are necessary to reflect the broad creativity of God’s creation. This harvest season, may we be reminded that the work cannot be done by just one person willing to make the time and the sacrifice, we each have a role in the harvest God offers us.
Just as Galatians 6:9 says, “Let us not grow tired of doing good, for in due time we shall reap our harvest.” What are you hoping to harvest this fall?
In case you aren’t sure what to help harvest yet, why not start with this?