7 Make no mistake, God is not mocked. A person will harvest what they plant. 8 Those who plant only for their own benefit will harvest devastation from their selfishness, but those who plant for the benefit of the Spirit will harvest eternal life from the Spirit. 9 Let’s not get tired of doing good, because in time we’ll have a harvest if we don’t give up. 10 So then, let’s work for the good of all whenever we have an opportunity, and especially for those in the household of faith.
The backyard at Mom’s house was torn up from the removal of several large dead trees, over grown shrubs and a large garden plot. Half the lawn was dirt. It was February and the house was going on the market in June. The landscaper told us to put down grass seed. In February? The conditions were not favorable, but we obeyed and scattered grass seed over half the yard. By the end of March there was new grass, by April it had filled in all the bare spots. I’m still surprised that such small seeds, planted during such adverse conditions, could change the landscape.
Paul is writing to the churches in Galatia because they have fallen away from the teaching of faith in Christ, and instead are relying on obedience to the law in order to save them. Paul tells them what really matters is their “faith in Jesus working through love.” (Gal.5:6b)
But accepting Jesus and loving Jesus is just the beginning of being a disciple. We are called to “plant for the benefit of the Spirit.” What do we plant? Following the example of Jesus, the seeds we plant are: good works that share the good news; feeding the hungry, bringing healing to the sick; comforting the grieving and lonely; visiting those in prison; working for justice; and showing love and care for all God’s children. This seems an impossible task in today’s world, even in our own congregations. But when you tire, don’t give up, because God promises you eternal life through Christ and an abundant harvest that will transform the landscape to look more and more like his Kin(g)-dom.
Be comforted! Christ is the eternal fountain from which we draw strength through his Spirit. When we tire of doing good and feel like giving up, we can turn in prayer to be refreshed for the journey. We are working together with the Spirit, who never grows weary. God never gives up on us, never stops loving us, never stops leading us as we grow in faith and work for the good of all.
By Jeneene Reduker
For Pondering & Prayer
Are you feeling overwhelmed by the problems of our world? Do you feel like giving up? Know that the Spirit of God is within you helping you to plant seeds for the harvest. What are you planting for God today? Look for opportunities to serve where you are.
Prayer: Lord of the harvest, By your Spirit make us one in Christ, one with each other, and one in ministry to all the world. Amen.