Sermon Starter: The Harvest

June 10th, 2011

Genesis 25:19-34; Psalm 119:105-112 or Psalm 25; Romans 8:1-11; Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23

Growing up in Louisiana, our small community was surrounded by rice farms.  We often visited in the home of one farm family.  The brothers in the family spent most of the day working in the fields to have a successful rice harvest.  We often sat at the table with this family and shared their bounty.  Not only were we able to enjoy the fruits of their labor but thousands of people we did not know would also be able to eat as a result of our friend’s efforts.

Jesus used a parable to introduce his hearers to the kingdom of God.  A farmer planted seed in hopes of producing a good crop.  Unfortunately not all the seed planted resulted in a harvest.  Some seed fell on rocky soil or thorns.  Only the seed planted in the good soil resulted in a harvest.

Our ministry of telling others about the kingdom will not always produce good results.  Some will misunderstand; others will have a temporary religious experience.  But some will follow the teachings of Jesus.  We are relieved of the responsibility of deciding who does and who does not go into the kingdom.  Our focus is on sharing the message of the Church: that Christ died and was resurrected.  That is the gospel.  We are recipients of the grace of God and when we do our part in the fields of ministry others we may not know personally will also benefit from the message of Jesus love.

The ministry of sowing is not a task for those who are easily discouraged.  Results may not be evident for many years or even in our lifetime.  We sew seed in faith that a harvest will eventually be reaped even if not in our lifetime.  The reward is in doing the work that Christ calls us to.

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