I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus and count them but rubbish.

Preparing for Harvest

Recently I was part of a conversation of persons in which a very interesting addition was given to Paul’s very well known analogy about planting for the harvest.

  • 1 Corinthians 3:5-9, What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.

Paul begins this chapter by rebuking the Corinthians for what we might call hero worship. They took sides with those who were mere men instead of siding with Christ alone. Paul is telling them to stop worshiping a mere man who is working for the Lord just as they are.

By doing so Paul uses an agricultural analogy that helps them see that everyone has a part and it does not matter that part. Each is important to the work God has planned out. He tells us one plants the seed and others water and God ultimately gives the increase. The harvest is taken.

The conversation I was part of one person brought up the idea that some are actually those who prepare for the harvest. Now that can be for those who are working in an organization such as a church or with an individual this idea of someone being the preparer for the harvest. This person or people who are doing so have the hardest job of them all.

Lets consider the job and choices the one who prepares the field has to undertake…

  • He has to break the ground after the long winter dormancy. After this time the ground if often hard and rough. If there is any point at which the hope of potential growth is at its lowest its here. The ground is hard and the weather still cold and gloom.
  • This process of breaking the ground under with a plow of some kind is a time of change as the old vegetation is turned over and under several times until it is gone. Removed b/c it cannot in its dead state benefit the field or the future harvest.
  • Often as the worker plows rocks often roll over. Those rocks are an adversary to growth and must be removed or else they will hinder the progression forward toward a successful harvest.
  • The field can also be in need of moderate fertilizer. To revive the soil and make it rich again and powerful enough to grow often times the preparer will scatter various forms of fertilizer on the field to prepare it for the coming planting.
  • A final choice often the man preparing the field might do is make the often hard choice to abandon the old field that has been used through the years and begin again at a new field were the ground is unused and has vastly greater potential for growth. This will give the other field time to recuperate and rejuvenate itself.

Not an easy job by far. Though the planting and watering has its own tasks that can try a person, when we speak of the evangelism or working with a church to move in the visionary direction that is needed its very hard at times. We have to assume that in churches or persons if the person is wiling to have “seeds planted” and be “watered” then you have to reason that there is a willingness that was started long ago. Perhaps a person preparing that field for planting.

So when we think about those times in which we are given the privilege to plant and water we should think about the person or persons who worked hard to break that ground, till the dead parts under and removing the rocks on one gloomy winter time to make that ground ready to receive the better days of growth and harvest.


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