July 10, 2013

The Lord of the Harvest by Sharon Espeseth

"He (Jesus) told them, "'The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.'" (Luke 10: 2 NIV)

This part of our Gospel reading for last Sunday still rings in my ears. Combining the story that follows  with our web moderator's suggestion to write about our prayer concerns for Canada led me directly to what InScribe proposes to do.

Click on the link and scroll down to Purpose: http://www.inscribe.org/about-inscribe/

Jesus sent out 72 workers to go, two by two, into every town and place where he planned to go himself. Our group, ICWF, has about double that number of workers. As members we work together, sometimes even two by two, to share the good news with our fellow Canadians. We pray for Canada and we share our writing with Canada.

Our message? The same one Jesus gave the workers he sent out. "The kingdom of God is near you." That's a simple message. We need to proclaim it in spoken and written word. We need to live it. Jesus told us we are to offer our message peacefully. Our opening line and our opening attitude must be, "Peace to this house!"

Jesus says that carrying out his message may not always be easy. "See," he warns, "I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves." The tidings we bring won't always be well-received. In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul says, ". . . We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." (Ephesians 6:12)

Lecturing in Toronto on June 8, Catholic academic and apologist, Peter Kreeft, urged Christians to wage cultural and spiritual warfare. Kreeft, philosophy professor at Boston College, says, "Spiritual warfare is a necessity, not an option for all Christians." He explains, "Christ came to our world to make war, war against greed and lust and pride." By standing up to anti-Christian aspects of culture, Kreeft says, we will "make peace with neighbour, self and God."

Kreeft encourages us to educate ourselves as Christians. He mentions Christian education and reading the words of the saints. We also need to study God's word. We must be aware of and ready to ward off the rise of anti-Christian influences.

And how are we to do this? With simplicity. Luke in chapter 10 expands the list of what Jesus tells his workers not to haul with them. "Do not take along any gold or silver or copper in your belts; take no bag for the journey, or extra tunic, or sandals or a staff; for the worker is worth his keep." It's not about money or the power it brings. It's not about fashion or variety. Working for the Gospel entitles you to be fed, but don't go to several houses to see who provides the best meals. Stay at the first house where you are welcomed.

The gospel bearers were asked to take on poverty. Then, as Pope Francis said recently, "I have no riches, my only wealth is the gift I received, God," and with God come his free gifts of grace and salvation. The Holy See recommends letting God's grace grab the spotlight.  He also reminds us, "The Church does not engage in proselytism. Instead, she grows by attraction."

For our Canada theme on InScribe Writers Online, I suggest we pray about our writing, then write and submit to secular and religious publications. Individually and collectively, we will bring the message to our nation that the kingdom of God is near. May God lead us and bless our country with his love, grace, salvation, and peace.


  1. Oh Sharon, what a message you've shared. And yes, the kingdom is near at hand, even in us (He says). Isn't that exciting to think about?

    When we write from our hearts, it will have the ring of Kingdom truth in it, no matter what we write about and where we send it.

    And so we press forward...we press our behinds on the chair and our fingertips on our keyboards, sending words of life to Press for the world to hear.

    I was most interested to read your comments about Peter Kreeft, who has been a long-time favourite author of mine.

    Thanks, Sharon, for an inspiring piece.

  2. Thanks, Brenda, for your encouraging remarks. Amazing that you had mentioned Peter Kreeft's books to me and then I came across this material about him.

  3. Sharon, thanks for this "call to arms" for our Country. I'm reading What Happens When Women Say Yes to God by Lysa Terkeurst. If each one of us chooses to be obedient to God each day, imagine the difference God could make in Canada!

  4. I appreciate you comment, "If each of us chooses. . ." Thanks!


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