by Brother Tom Albin
“After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. He said to them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.’”
I grew up on a family farm in Western Kansas where we had two harvest seasons each year. The first was the summer wheat harvest in mid-June. When it is golden ripe and dry enough to harvest there is joy and rejoicing at the miracle of what this grain can produce—as it says in the Bible—30 or 60 new seeds in a single head. However, wheat is a delicate crop. The harvest begins with joy and focus because strong winds or hailstorms can shatter the stem of the plant and the grain from the dry heads. The labor of an entire year can be lost in a single hour. That is why there are many people needed for the harvest. Our entire family—my father, mother, brother and two sisters all came to help—along with spouses and children. It truly was a family affair and there was so much rejoicing during the harvest as the fields of grain are gathered into the safety of the storage barns!
The fall harvest in Western Kansas is a different pace because the fall crops are different. From September through November, we harvest field corn or milo sorghum. The days are shorter, and the pace is more relaxed because stocks of these plants are stronger. There is very little chance that strong winds from a fall storm will harm the plants or shatter the ripe grain onto the ground. However, the miracle of multiplication is even more amazing. A single seed of corn or grain sorghum will produce more than 200 to 900 times the number of seeds of grain on a single plant. What an amazing increase. It requires many laborers to operate the harvest machine, to drive the grain cart to move the crop from the field to the transport truck, then another person to drive the truck to the storage barns, and another person to operate the equipment to take the grain from the truck and move it into the storage barns. One person cannot do it alone–not two, or three, or even four.
I believe God intends for each one of us to be involved in the kingdom harvest. Some of us sow the seed of the Gospel, others of us water, others till the soil to keep the weeds from choking out the good plants, and others help with the harvest. Every person in the Ashram family is needed to do the work of evangelism—bringing in the harvest of God. What is your role? Do you see it? Are you willing to do it? “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”