The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few
In the wake of the Corona virus outbreak, farmers soon began to realise, with dread, that unless they could employ more workers then all of the hard work sowing and planting may soon lie dead in the fields. The sense of fear, sadness and helplessness in the farming world was palpable. Pickers from Eastern Europe usually filled this role but by April, it was evident that they were not coming back; at least not in the numbers required to gather the harvest. With distant memories of a similarly challenging situation during World War 2, a rallying cry was made to the people of the nation for a new ‘land army’ to ‘pick for Britain’. By all accounts, there was a fantastic response; and shops and supermarkets continued to receive goods to sell to eager consumers.
In a different time and place, Jesus also reflected upon the need for more workers albeit for a different harvest. Gazing over the vast crowds that had flocked to see him, Jesus saw need in its rawest form and it moved him to the deepest form of compassion.
Author Fredrick Buechner describes such response in this way. “Compassion is sometimes the fatal capacity for feeling what it is like to live inside somebody else’s skin. It is the knowledge that there can never really be any peace and joy for me until there is peace and joy finally for you too.”
The incarnation reminds us of the limitless love of God who quite literally inhabited skin and in Jesus revealed a way to live a life of love and self-sacrifice. That he chose twelve others to share in the work of the harvest was intentional and strategic. We are the workers that others have prayed for; called to do the works that Jesus bids.
Compassion, love and mercy continue to be essential benchmarks of followers of Jesus. As we ease out of ‘lockdown’, probably one of the greatest challenges is to ensure that we do not choose a similar incarceration in our church buildings. Rather, that we seek ways and means of being church in the World which ‘God so loved’.
Teresa of Ávila puts this challenge and requirement so beautifully….“Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body. Christ has no body now on earth but yours.”
Rev’d Geoffrey Bennett, Rural Dean
Adhering to social distancing St. Gluvias parish church will re-open on Sunday’s, for private prayers, between the hours of 11am and 1pm.