Signposts: Daily Devotions

Friday, August 29

He said to them, "The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few."
—Luke 10:2a


Not long ago I was on vacation on a low-country South Carolina island. One morning a neighbor called and said, "Go with us. We're picking tomatoes." A huge tomato farm had finished its harvest and all the people in the area were invited to come pick as many tomatoes as they could use. It sounded fun so adults and children piled into the car to go off to explore.  

About 50 people went to pick. The fields were massive. Hundreds of acres of tomatoes were before us. As far as the eye could see, tomatoes, tomatoes and more tomatoes. I had never seen such abundance.  

We picked and picked beautiful, exquisite tomatoes. Bag upon bag of great produce filled the back of our car as we planned to make gazpacho, spaghetti, tomato pie, and then give the others away to friends, family, and co-workers. When we finished, we had picked over 100 pounds of tomatoes.  

But the thing that hurt, absolutely devastated me, was the fact that the crop was to be destroyed the next day. The pickers had traveled up the Eastern seaboard, moving to the next big crop, the next big farm that needed their labor. All the tomatoes left on the vine in the field where we had picked would be lost. The abundance would be wasted. The bumper crop destroyed.  

In God's kingdom we have all that we need. Through the love of our Creator, we have been given grace upon grace through Christ. But the laborers are few. The inheritance is often squandered, the crop often left to rot in the fields.  

As followers of Jesus Christ, we are called to work, to get out in the world and spread the Good News by pointing to God's abundance. Our job is to show the love of God in word and deed, in mission and outreach to those in need. For if we don't, the work of our Lord, the abundance of God's mercy is wasted in the fields of life.  

Now's the time to get to work. The harvest is plentiful!  

God of abundance, your love and care sustain me each day. Help me share it with those who have yet to experience your grace. Amen.

The Signposts for August are written by Michael Sullivan and originally appeared on explorefaith in 2006.