Sunday’s Scripture ~ Matthew 13:8-9, 23
Reeves’ concludes our Marinate sermon series this week. I think it’s been a great exercise – and somewhat of a challenge – to work with the same text over a four-week period. A couple times when I started my sermonizing process I felt like there was not much “sermonizing water” left for me to wring out of this text…and then as God always does…God works in amazing ways by breathing life into texts that truly speak to me and the congregation I serve. That breath – I believe it’s the same breath of creativity that has been inspiring since creation. The true work then – the hard work – is being attentive to that breath, to allow it to lead, to sit with it. In essence, to allow God’s creative breath to marinate over me and the text.
It’s harvest time! For three weeks we have been anticipating sustainable growth from the seeds that were sown, but each week the seeds encountered some obstacle:
- Birds gobbling them up
- Shallow rooting because of the rocks and scorching heat from the sun
- Deprived of nutrients because of the thorns
But finally…the seeds have grown. They have produced a bountiful harvest. A harvest that is uncommon – perhaps unheard of!- by 1st Century Galilean standards. This is no ordinary harvest or a harvest that a human could bring about. This is a harvest inspired by God’s breath, a harvest cultivated by Jesus Christ, and a harvest that evidences the goodness and in-breaking of God’s Kingdom on earth.
I am reminded that it takes time for seeds to grow. From seed to sprout to harvest – it does not usually happen overnight – although I’m sure that God could make it so. I know there are days where I pine (see what I did there?!) that it were so. That God would go ahead and bring everything to completion, everything to harvest. But there is gift in the time that it takes seeds to come to harvest. There is comfort in that space to grow, explore, question, discern, doubt, and decide. It takes time and I feel that God has built that into the system. If God wanted us to assent to everything immediately, then God would have made it so. If God wanted immediate harvest, God could have it. There wouldn’t be choice or free will. But there is and God graces us with time to come to harvest.
So enjoy the time. Embrace the gift. God will lead you to harvest.
And you will be bountiful.
Prayer: “Even so, Lord, quickly come, bring thy final harvest home; gather thou thy people in, free from sorrow, free from sin, there forever purified, in thy presence to abide; come with all thine angels, come, raise the glorious harvest home.”*
* from “Come, Ye Thankful People, Come” from The United Methodist Hymnal, 694.