Will the harvest be Greater Than?
It really all comes down to this. For three weeks we have issued the challenge. In those three weeks have you been made to feel uncomfortable? Have things shifted in your everyday? Has something been gnawing at you? We hope and continue to pray as this “series” ends, the answers to these questions will continue to be “yes.” Our message content and focus will change next week, but it is our deep desire that the seeds that have been planted in you individually and in our community of faith collectively will continue to be cultivated and will continue to grow. We do not want things to return to a quo that even remotely resembles status. Our desire and direction at Life Bridge is to be a community that perpetually and genuinely considers others Greater Than ourselves. We want to live and breathe the call in Philippians 2:3 to “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.”
The Bible is clear as we head out in the direction of our local communities and bigger world … The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. (Matthew 9:37b) These are the very words of Jesus to his disciples in the first century, but they are as true today as they were when He said them. In the work of considering others Greater Than, will the harvest prove greater than number of those who choose to work?
In the rhythm of the created world, we are approaching harvest time. If you’re at all familiar with the work of the harvest, you’ll know that the window is short. Anyone who has participated in the rewarding work of bringing in the crops (no matter what they are), knows that there is precious little time between the moment they are ready and the moment they spoil; the moment they are full of life and flavor, and the moment they die “on the vine.” In the harvest Jesus speaks of, the harvest that is the work of those of us who believe, the stakes are infinitely higher. We CANNOT let lives die “on the vine.” This is not a time for cute analogies and quirky illustrations. These are flesh and blood lives that we must reach.
In making any major shift, it’s universally true that you must always stop and start . Sometimes there is more that just one “something” and “something else,” but in this major shift, let me suggest one to those who call Life Bridge their home. Let me finish the Stop sentence with “going to church for yourself.” It can be so easy to fall into the trap of consumerism when you “attend” church. We want you to “go” here, not “attend” here. We want you to “go” to Life Bridge and meet people, develop relationships with people, serve people, build and grow relationships with those you serve and serve with. We want you to come when you don’t “feel” like coming. We want you to know that we need you here; that other people who “go” here, need you here; and those who might visit for the very first time, need you here.
Finally, let me finish the Start sentence with “using your gifts.” As you “go” here, serve here. You have gifts; the Bible is clear about that. I understand there will be some who might doubt or be convinced otherwise, but that’s just not biblical. In proof of that and in summary of all that is the harvest and it’s urgency, I offer the words of the apostle Peter:
The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.
I Peter 4:7-11
As we go together in the direction of this great calling, may the shift in each of us and in our community be one that goes from benefiting from the love of God to imitating the love of God. Amen, Life Bridge. Amen.