See you at the fair!

Aug. 18, 2008

By Rev. Bill Hillyer, Saving Grace Lutheran Church, Delano

Our family loves this time of year. You see, we love going to the fairs – the county fairs and the Minnesota State Fair.

There are so many things to see and do: pronto pups, 4-H exhibits, corn-on-the-cob, the hog barn, pork chop-on-a-stick, the dairy barn, all-you-can-drink milk, people-watching, French fries . . . well, you get the idea.

Everyone loves to walk around the exhibits and look at the results of a good harvest, whether it is the produce or the animals. I always look forward to seeing the size of the hogs at the state fair – they are so large it is hard for a city boy to believe that an animal can get that big!

I am also amazed at the amount of patience and hard work that goes into everything we see at the fairs. There are so few workers, and yet so large a harvest. We are truly blest in this country with wonderful farmers and rich crop land.

Those who have been called by Jesus to be his followers have also been called to help with a harvest so that one day, when Jesus returns, instead of a great Minnesota get-together, we will have a great get-together in heaven.

In Matthew 9:37, Jesus compared the kingdom of God to the state fair (sort of . . . ): “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.’”

It seems we love to enjoy the rewards of a bountiful harvest, but very few of us are actually willing to work for it.

So, which task is yours? Someone has to plow. Someone has to plant. Someone has to water.

All of us who claim the title, Christian, are expected to get our hands “dirty,” working with the crops. And of course, the crops that Jesus is referring to are the people all around us; our friends, neighbors, co-workers, family members, and others.

It is so thrilling to watch the thousands of people from all over the state walking the streets of the state fair, celebrating the end of summer and the blessings of a great harvest.

Our Savior calls us to share our faith with those around us, so that one day they, too, may celebrate on the streets of heaven the sacrificial life and death of Jesus Christ, God’s own son, who took our place on the cross and paid the price for our sins – all so that everyone who believes in Him will have everlasting life.

As you go about your daily tasks this week, listen for God’s leading as He prompts you to plant a seed or water a young stalk with the Word of God. And don’t worry, God will take your faithful efforts and turn them into a wonderful harvest.

See you at the “great get-together!”