July 7, 2019 Abraham Abbey Church
Planting and harvesting are both mentioned in two of our readings this morning, but they refer to very different things in each reading. In our Gospel story, Jesus tells the ministers he is commissioning to ask the Lord to send out laborers into his harvest. Jesus does not explain what he means, but since he sends the ministers to proclaim peace, maybe what he means is: “God has planted eternal life into all hearts. It is now your job to let the people know that, and help them wake up to that gift.” Not everyone responds the same way to the good news of God’s grace, but that is ok – the kingdom of God is near to us all.
In the letter to Galatia, Paul talks about planting and harvesting, but this time, it is not about what God has planted, but about what we plant in our own worlds, and the effect of our actions. If we do good, then that good will ripple out and be of benefit to all. If we do bad, then that bad will ripple out and be of detriment to all.
And yet, God’s gift of Love from the gospel story is still in our hearts. The bad we do can not take it away. We can not undo God’s grace, but we sure can hide it under a lot of fear and pride. God’s gift of life and love will eventually win out over all the self-imposed darkness that we all send into the world, but why not just come to our senses and stop trying to hinder grace with our self-inflicted pain? Why not rather add love to Love? It makes the world much better for everyone. We can do it, and we know that we will. But we also know that we will fail, and fall, and sin. That is not ok, but it is not the end. That’s when God’s grace saves us from ourselves.
So now, while the harvest is plentiful, may we, by planting good with our own lives, help awaken the gracious gift of eternal life, love, peace and joy in the lives of those around us. It has already been given by God, we just need to show people how to open up to it. And may we be open to the people around us helping us to awaken to God’s gift in our own lives. AMEN