Harvest home!

“Fair waved the golden corn,” I thought as I walked along the footpath between the cliff edge and a field of ripening grain.  A stiff breeze was blowing off the Irish sea; the field was a restless, golden sea – a ‘windy wheat field’, as Alison Uttley’s Little Grey Rabbit would have said.  Only it wasn’t wheat, it was barley.  But here and there along the edges and in patches throughout the field something else was growing.  On closer inspection it turned out to be wild oats.  Somehow the wrong seed had been sown in places.


Sowing seed – the good seed of the gospel – is a work we can all do.  Indeed, it is the work the Lord gives us to do.  Only He can make the seed grow but he gives us the responsibility and the privilege of being His fellow-workers.  “Any one who has received the knowledge of the grace of God in his heart can teach others,” says C H Spurgeon.  “We cannot all teach alike, for all have not the same gifts; neither have we all the same opportunities; yet there is not within the family of God an infant hand which may not drop its own tiny seed into the ground...”


But it is, of course, vital that we are sowing good seed!  To quote Spurgeon again: “You will need heavenly teaching that you may carefully select the wheat… You will require instruction to winnow out of it your own thoughts and opinions… Men are not saved by our word, but by God’s word.  We need grace to learn the gospel aright and to teach the whole of it.”


God grant that we may each do so, to the praise of His great name!


So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.  Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labour.  For we are God’s fellow workers…

                                                                                      1 Corinthians 3:7-9a


Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy.  He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.

                                                                                      Psalm 126:5-6


Sow in the morn thy seed,

At eve hold not thine hand;

To doubt or fear give thou no heed,

Broadcast it o’er the land.


Thou know’st not which may thrive,

The late or early sown;

Grace keeps the chosen germ alive,

When and wherever strown.


Thou canst not toil in vain;

Cold, heat, and moist, and dry,

Shall foster and mature the grain

For garners in the sky.


Hence, when the glorious end,

The day of God, is come,

The angel-reapers shall descend,

And heaven cry, Harvest home!

                             James Montgomery