A reading for Tuesday, March 15, 2016: Matthew 21:34-36.

A quick word search reveals that the word "harvest" occurs 70 times in the Bible. From the first reference in Genesis 8:22, "As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.” all the way to the book of Revelation 14:15, "Another angel came out of the temple, calling with a loud voice to the one who sat on the cloud, “Use your sickle and reap, for the hour to reap has come, because the harvest of the earth is fully ripe." 

Overwhelmingly, the image of the harvest in scripture is an image of abundance or completion. The waters of the Jordan river flood at harvest time revealing the time of what God has provided for God's people in harvest. The harvest is a time of celebration for all people. It is a time when in Leviticus for example there is enough of plenty or everyone, so don't plow the corners of your field but leave some for those in need.  The harvest is when baskets of first fruits are brought to the Lord in thanks. In the book of Ruth, the harvest is when Orpah and Ruth found their salvation.

So perhaps it's no surprise that Jesus uses the image of harvest often in his parables. Like today's lesson when Jesus predicts his betrayal and arrest, and also the treatment of future servants of Christ in the image of slaves collecting the harvest. When the harvest comes there is work to be done. There is celebration to enjoy. There is thanks to be given for our salvation is at hand. Perhaps there is even struggle to be endured. So get ready... “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest."


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