Summary: What is the harvest you are waiting for? What is the Harvest that you want to celebrate?
Why do Christians celebrate Harvest?
The simple answer is, it is an opportunity for us to thank God for everything He has blessed us with.
In Old Testament times there were three major festivals where the Jewish people took the opportunity to thank God for blessing them.
The first festival was the Feast of Passover. It was usually held in April each year – at the beginning of the harvest.
It was at this festival that God’s people recalled how God had been their Saviour by miraculously leading them out of slavery in Egypt.
It is no coincidence that it was at the time of celebration of the Feast of Passover that Jesus was crucified in AD 29.
Through His death, Jesus provided the only way of salvation for all who would trust in Him as their personal Saviour and Lord.
It’s only because of Jesus sacrifice that we have been set free from the punishment we deserved.
In His death, Jesus suffered in our place, He paid the price for our sins past, present and future.
Because of Jesus perfect sacrifice the punishment for our sins has passed over us to Him and we become forgiven sons and daughters of God. -----
The second festival was the Feast of Weeks or Harvest, where the Jews gave thanks to God for their crop. This festival occurred at the end of the barley harvest.
It was also known as Pentecost because it was timed to be 50 days after Passover.
Chapter 2 of the book of records that it was at Pentecost when the power of the Holy Spirit was released on the disciples.
And they were then able to preach the Good News of Jesus Christ.
And as the result of one sermon 3000 people became Christians.
The third festival was the Feast of Tabernacles, which occurred after the grape and grain harvest was over.
It was at that festival that the Jews would camp out for a week in tents - recalling the temporary dwellings they had after the exodus from Egypt.
All three of these festivals reminded the people of God’s blessings on them - Physical blessings and spiritual blessings.
And the festivals reminded the people that God is a faithful God who would continue to bless the people year, after year, after year. ------
I have never been a farmer, or much of a gardener but I understand that to harvest a good crop it requires a lot of preparation, care and patience.
Preparation in that the ground must be prepared and the seed properly sown.
Care in that, the seed must be watered and nurtured by the light.
Patience because crops do not grow overnight.
Maybe today you are not waiting for wheat to grow in your field, but I would guess that you are hoping for a harvest of some kind.
Different people have different ideas about harvests
Let me ask you a question:What is your Harvest?
What is the harvest you are waiting for?
What is the Harvest that you want to celebrate?
Is your harvest about finances?
To have a certain amount of money.
Is your Harvest a dream of a bigger home?
For some a harvest would be simply a roof over their head and sufficient food on the table.
Would your harvest be a new Sports car?
Or a dream holiday
What about the church, what does harvest mean and look like for us as the church?
Simply put, Harvest represents the harvest of souls for the Kingdom of God.
This morning I want us to consider three specific principles about harvest, three things we need to know and understand.
1. Harvest Is A Consequence
2. Harvest Is A Process
3. Harvest Is A Season
The first principle we need to understand is HARVEST IS A CONSEQUENCE - We will always reap what we sow Galatians 6:7-10 says
7 Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. 8 Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. 9 So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. 10 Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith. Galatians 6:7-10 (New Living Translation)
The harvest is the consequence of what you sow. When you sow wheat seeds your with reap a wheat harvest.
Sow to satisfy sinful desires and you will harvest the consequences of decay and death.
Sow to please God and the consequences will be eternal life and daily blessings.