August usually signals a number of new things each year. School starts back up. Being a football fan, I enjoy the start of the NFL and College seasons starting back up in August/September, as well as the high school football season. It’s the last chance before school starts to take a trip to a new place, or old, and enjoy time with family before the new season starts. This year is looking to be much different, as it has been since March. I have to admit that when all this hit at the beginning of the year, I didn’t even dream that it would last this long, yet here we are. School is still looking to open back up and sports are trying to get back, but it’s not just football starting back up. We have baseball, basketball, and hockey all being played in August as well. It’s definitely a different kind of new season. Some parts of the country are still on lock down or are returning to lock down as cases are jumping. What a time to be alive, am I right? But as easy as it is to dwell on all the bad things are going on right now, especially with the news channels like FOX and CNN bringing it to us live in our living rooms and on our computers, I hope to bring a new perspective on the season here, if you will give me a few minutes. I have an email subscription to Church and Culture, which is a blog by James Emery White, the founding and senior pastor at Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, as well as a professor at a local seminary. I remember one article I read awhile back about the death of Elisha in 2 Kings 13. Jehoash was king of Israel during this time and he knew that Elisha’s connection with God was what brought Israel great military victories. As Elisha was sick and dying, Jehoash decided to pay him a visit. The encounter is recorded in verses 14-19. Elisha asks the king to fire arrows and strike the ground with them in order to symbolize victory over Israel’s enemies, but Jehoash stopped before he should have, thus limiting
God’s power in his life and in the nation of Israel. Now, I’m not saying we have any ability to limit God’s power. He’s far more powerful than anything we can dream of, even Thanos (kids, explain that reference to your parents/grandparents). What I am saying, however, is that we often limit God’s involvement in our lives by the choices we make and our faith in him. If you read the gospels, you will find that at times Jesus wouldn’t do miracles in towns because of the lack of faith of the people. It wasn’t limiting Jesus’ power, but he knew that if their faith was lacking, his miracles wouldn’t change that, at least not for the better. We have that
same power in us, to limit the effect of God in our lives, and I think our reactions or attitudes towards all that is going on are fully capable of doing just that. Elisha lived a full life, to the very end. In some parts in the Scriptures, he is simply referred to as The Man of God. His life was so full of God’s power at work that his reputation and name reflected it so clearly. We aren’t told how long Elisha lived or how old he was at his death, but sometimes the measuring of our lives shouldn’t be made using numbers. Our value isn’t always simply measured by how long we are here, but by what we do while we are here. In the English language, we don’t have a word for the quality of time, but the Greeks did. It was Kairos. In Matthew 21:34, Jesus was telling a parable about some ten- ants working at a vineyard. Matthew 21:34 says, “When the harvest time approached, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his fruit.” Instead of giving a specific date, he generalized it to the harvest time, because that is what the message was about. We are living in a harvest time. A time that could last a long time or not a long time. But the question we need to answer is, “What kind of quality will my life possess during this time we are in?” As Jesus tells in this parable, and at other times, the fields are ripe for harvest, so our lives should reflect a desire to reap what has been sown. As we get into another season of our lives, with schools and sports starting back up, what can we do as individuals and as a church to share the love of Christ. I don’t know about you, but I don’t usually think about how long I will live on this earth. It may be another 5 years, 10 years, or 50 or more years. But at the end of it all, I want to be able to look back and see that I shot my arrows for God and lived in a way that brought people to Him. I want the quality of my time here on this planet to far outweigh the years I live here. I hope you feel the same. Let’s go reap some fields.
“Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.’”- Matthew 9:37-38 (NIV)