11 July 2019

Genesis 8:20–22, Haggai 1:3–6, Matthew 9:35–38

If you have been reading these devotions with any regularity, you might have noticed that I generally do not put myself into them (e.g., I, me, my). I am making an exception today.

I was driving home, and passed a sign at an espresso stand that seeing, “The first 5 days after the weekend are the harvest.” I processed that for a moment, thinking what a cool sign.

Then I re-read it, and changed my mind about the sign. It actually read, “the first 5 days after the weekend are the hardest.” That was depressingly pessimistic. What I initially “saw”, however, stuck with me.

I love Sundays. I love coming/going to church. I feel “off” if I’m not there. Your temptation when you read this is I’m a pastor. My role as “pastor” doesn’t really change that. Church is often more “home” than my house. Church with all its angst, emotions, and pain (we bring it all in with us), may not be the most joyous thing for you. I feel bad if that is the case with you (though I can sympathize).

The reality is that church should be the spiritual and emotional recharge for the next 5 days (really, the next 6). Yet, it is not supposed to be a recharge so you can “just” go back to work. Those next days are “harvest” days. We are the laborers that Jesus speaks of and there are very few of us (proportionally). We are to be recharged to do the work of the Kingdom by bringing people into it.

I’ll be real. You may think I’m pointing a finger at you. I too struggle with being the laborer. I am far too aware that I am pointing far more fingers at myself. I want to focus on my job and get it done (including at church). I am wired that way, and you may be too. To Jesus—Our Lord and Savior—our real job is not the tasks of the job. It is the people.

1) What excuses do (or did) you use to not be a laborer?

2) What habits can you develop (it will take time) to focus on the goal of the harvest, saved/reconciled souls?

3) If you are part of a small group or accountability group (i.e., “band”), add this to your agenda. When was the last you were held accountable for this? When was the last time you held others accountable?