October 01, 2016

Celebrating Harvest

Psalm 67

The land yields its harvest; God, our God, blesses us.

—  Psalm 67:6

For most of the past decade, I have served as the pastor of a church in a rural area. Each fall, the fields bustle with activity as farmers bring in crops that have been growing all summer. The air is filled with energy and excitement as the fruits of the year’s labors are gathered in.

Harvest reminds us of God’s faithfulness. God’s blessing sustains our crops with the sunshine, rainfall, and soil nutrients needed to help them grow. Harvest reminds us that in this year God has again been gracious and has given us a blessing as the crops are gathered in. Especially when we think about people in our world who go hungry, this season should bring us to humble thanks before God and to renewed concern for the needs of our world.

Yet the Bible also uses harvest imagery to picture God’s work of renewing sinners by grace, and of gathering them together to be his people in Christ. Even as it speaks of the blessing of God’s provision, Psalm 67 highlights a mission impulse as well: “May the peoples praise you, God; may all the peoples praise you.” God pours out his blessings “so that all the ends of the earth will fear him.”

As you think about the blessing of another harvest, join in praying that the whole earth will recognize God’s faithful care as he gathers his people in Christ.

You have been gracious to us, Lord. Send us a harvest once again, and gather us together with your people in Christ. We join with the whole earth in praising you, through Jesus Christ. Amen.

About the author — Joel Vande Werken

Joel Vande Werken has been a pastor since 2007, serving churches in Sussex, New Jersey, and in Whitinsville, Massachusetts. He and his wife, Brandie, have five young children.

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