This past week I had the great blessing of spending a few days in Tennessee at the Mid-South District Pastor’s Conference. On the drive down, once I made it to southern Missouri, I encountered something I had actually never seen in person…ripe cotton fields. While I grew up on and around farms and have been there all my life, northern Iowa isn’t exactly cotton country. It was so interesting to see those dark plants bursting forth with snow white cotton. Of course, immediately I thought of John 4, “Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.”
Of course, Jesus wasn’t talking about a particularly good cotton harvest, or wheat or beans or corn but a harvest of new believers. So often we who dwell along the byways of our land forget that there are rich fields around us everywhere, just waiting to be worked. Just waiting to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ, waiting for the “fruit for eternal life” to be gathered while others continue to sow so that the “sower and reaper may rejoice together”.
To that end, I wanted to share with you a quote from C.F.W. Walther which I often share with groups:
“It is a primary duty of a confessionally faithful synod that it take an enthusiastic part in all God-pleasing organizations dedicated to the spread of Christ’s kingdom in the world. That is the duty of every synod, including our own. It is to join the ranks of that great army of laborers in the harvest field of Christ. For the harvest has long been ‘dead ripe’…In short, a synod is to be a living member of the body of Christ, and together with every other living member of that most sacred body in the whole world, it must do whatever it possibly can to spread Christ’s kingdom and wherever possible, to win for Christ and to lead into His sheepfold all those whom Christ has bought with His precious blood, and ultimately to lead them in the salvation of everlasting life.” (C.F.W. Walther, “Duties of an Evangelical Lutheran Synod.”)
Let us with great boldness, no matter where the Lord of the Church has placed us, join that great army to labor for the harvest! I pray the Lord of the Harvest blesses you with the sight to “see” the fields around you, the strength and wisdom to share His love and the joy that comes from serving Him.
For more information on rural and small town mission or for resources, please visit our web page www.lcms.org/rstm