Grace to you and peace from God our Father, our Lord Jesus Christ, and His Holy Spirit!
October is a glorious month. Are you enjoying Autumn? All seasons are wonderful, and Autumn offers unique beauty. The association with harvest, fruitfulness, completion, and resplendent colors in the world stir an appreciation for the marvel and mystery of God’s creation.
October holds much joy and meaning in life. One of my childhood friends was born October 2nd, my brother Timothy, was born October 12th, our daughter, Mary was born October 17th, our son Matthew was born October 20th, my sister, Maryanne, was born October 22nd, Nancy’s birthday is October 28th and cousin, Marcie, was born October 31st.
Autumn and the month of October allow us to know the blend of God’s Spirit bringing forth fruit in completion while planting newness and hope for the future. We know sorrow in the passing and transformation of life. My father died in a farm accident on October 17th, daughter Mary’s birthday. Maryanne and cousin Marcie; whose October birthdays were days for celebration, died suddenly, and their birthdays are quiet remembrances.
October of warm days, chilly mornings, moonlit nights, vibrant colors, fading to brown, wiener roasts, football games, grey skies, and bright blues. Autumn points the way forward for us, while harvest is progressing, plans and preparations for next year and beyond are underway.
And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every infirmity. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” Matthew 9:35-38
God has called us to be Christ’s presence in this age. He plainly asks us to preach, teach, share all that we know about Jesus with others. He invites us into the most joy-filled and rewarding purpose of offering life, love, healing and hope to all we meet. We are invited to share what we know:
For I am not ashamed of the gospel; it is the power of God for salvation to every one who has faith, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed through faith for faith; as it is written, “He who through faith is righteous shall live.” Romans 1:16-17
We share the mysterious and marvelous power of God in ministry! The celebration of life and acknowledgement of loss clearly focus the joy of knowing the good news of Jesus Christ. His salvation is available to all, and all who come by faith are held in the power of his eternal life.
Never think that in lowering yourself you have less power for good. On the contrary, in humbling yourself you are imitating and using the same means that I used. You are walking in my Way, and therefore in the Truth, and you are in the right state to receive Life and impart it to others. The best means for this is always to imitate me. I came down to the level of men by my Incarnation, and to that of sinners by my Circumcision and Baptism. Be lowly, lowly, humble, humble. Let those in high places put themselves last in a spirit of lowliness and service, love for men, humility, taking the lowest place so long as the divine will does not call you to another, for in that case you must obey. Obedience first of all – conformity to the will of God. If you are placed high, then keep yourself in humility of soul as though you were the last; occupy your high position as though you were there only to serve others and to lead them to salvation, and as if, though you may command them, you are rather serving them, for you command them only with the purpose of sanctifying them. –From Meditaions of a Hermit by Charles de Foucauld
The harvest is plentiful. Jesus, our Lord and Savior, is the same, yesterday, today, and forever. God our Heavenly Father leads us in His harvest as we seek to answer the call to seek and serve the least, lost, and lonely; offering them Jesus Christ! Making new disciples of Jesus Christ is the heart of mission. Pray the Lord of the harvest for guidance, direction, wisdom, empowerment, and opportunities to carry on his harvest in unique and wonderful ways!
In Jesus, Pastor Paul