Our scripture this morning is Matthew 9:36-38.

When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. He said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.”

This passage is a prologue to Jesus sending out His disciples in Matthew 10 to preach and heal. This is what they would be called to do after He returned to the Father. He compares the people to sheep without a shepherd. While there were surely some religious leaders of the time who cared, most were only concerned with maintaining their power and position.

Jesus uses the example of a great harvest to explain how we must go into the world in His name. While I was appointed in farming communities in southwest Kansas and southeast Nebraska I got to see what harvest is really like. It is hard, dirty work and takes commitment from everyone involved. However, once it’s done there is a sense of joy and accomplishment. 

Jesus tells us we must be ready to work hard for the kingdom but if we work with Him, we can be part of it. In the old hymn “Come Ye Thankful People, Come” we sing “Lord of harvest, grant that we wholesome grain and pure may be.” We are both the harvesters and God’s harvest, planted by Him with a purpose.

Gracious God, we are glad to be part of what You are doing in the world. Strengthen us to be the labor force you need and bring in all Your children for Your great harvest. Amen.

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