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Tending the Fields

Do you not say, 'Four months more, then comes the harvest'? But I tell you, look around you, and see how the fields are ripe for harvesting. John 4:35

Dear Friends in Christ,

 

In Lent, we tend to our lives so that we might be more open to God’s direction, so that God might form and shape us and our dreams. Lent asks of us to set aside our own desires and aspirations in favor of God’s desires and aspirations for us. All this is a blessing for us, but we’ll miss it if we focus on what we want to receive, rather than on God’s invitation to us.

 

Part of how we work this out is in tending to the fields in which God places us. Many of us are placed in families or workplaces. All of us are placed in communities. Each of us have points of contact with others and potential points of contact with others. These are the “fields” that God has given us to tend—like a farmer tending his field so that it might yield a harvest of good food.

 

I wrote recently about isolation and relationship, and how we have let screens come between us and others. What a blessing it is when we connect with each other face to face! What a blessing it is when we reach out even in small ways to connect with someone else—a neighbor on the street, a stranger in the grocery store, a business acquaintance, or the student in the lunchroom that we don’t yet know.

 

Our decision to purposefully reach out and introduce ourselves and strike up a conversation is part of good Christian Stewardship. God acts primarily in relationships. The more we can take initiative to be in relationship with others, the more we can see God at work—in the lives of others and in our lives as well. Stewardship involves how we give and save and spend money, but stewardship also involves how we initiate and tend relationships with others in personal engagement.

 

Who is in your “field?” Who has God set in your path so that you might reach out with friendliness and care? To whom can you introduce yourself in this next week?

 

When Jesus’ disciples found him talking with the Samaritan woman at the well, they had just been into town, but they brought no one back to meet Jesus. But when Jesus spoke with the woman, she went into the village and brought the whole town to see him. Jesus explained to his disciples “the fields are ripe for harvesting” and urged them to follow her example.

 

God bless you this Lent as you reach out to others.

 

Yours in Christ,

 

-Tom

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