by Rev Don Schatz
Is it Fall already?
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Fall brings the harvest. In three different places we have lived, Indiana, California and Washington State, we frequently drove past fields of ripe pumpkins this time of year. It’s an image that always makes me feel good. There is something about ripe pumpkins that says, “Fall is here! Yep, it’s Fall already.”
In the Scripture, more often than not, ‘ripe harvest’ is associated with a word of judgement. It’s that way in the prophet Joel. It’s that way in the prophet Amos. Arguably, it’s that way in the Revelation of John.
However, a different view of ripe fruit is found in John’s Gospel. Jesus’ disciples rejoin him next to Jacob’s Well, and they find him talking to a woman. To a Samaritan woman at that! The woman leaves, soon to return with the whole town. In the meantime, the disciples urge Jesus to eat.
Jesus says his food is to do the will of the Father. Then he speaks directly to the disciples:
“Do you not say, ‘Four months more and then the harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.”
John 4:35, New International Version
No matter what season of the calendar year it is, it is always Harvest Season on the Lord’s calendar. That’s what Jesus had been doing with the Samaritan. Who cared if custom dictated that a man not speak to a woman, especially a Rabbi speaking to a Samaritan? Jesus didn’t. He was about the work of gathering in the whole harvest. That’s what happened to us when Jesus came through Word and Sacrament. He gathered us into the Kingdom, in the on-going Harvest of humankind by the Gospel.
We are harvest workers. God doesn’t just harvest us, and then arrange us in a rustic display like so-many harvested pumpkins. The harvested become harvesters in God’s harvest fields. Is it Fall already? It’s always Fall. The Harvest tool is ever the same, the Good News of Jesus’ Gospel. That Gospel is powerful to create a Harvest as we preach, and live it, in the lives of our neighbors.
Copyright Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Colorado Springs, CO