SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2010
CELEBRATING A SEASON OF HARVESTS
The peak of Church Harvest season is usually recorded within November and December each year. It tallies with God’s injunction in Exodus 23 V 14, 15, 16”… celebrate the feast of ingathering at the end of the year when you gather in your crops from the field”. Those who know their God are set to carry out this function to the letter.
It is to be stated that the willful killing of Abel by his brother Cain as recorded in Genesis 4, attracted the anger of God and He caused the land”… when you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you…”. Such became the lot of man labouring without having enough to show for it.
But thanks to God, the sacrifice of Noah in his own generation attracted the favour of God and God vowed henceforth”… Seed time and harvest , cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will not cease”. Gen. 8V22. Noah gave an offering, a pleasing aroma shortly after the great deluge that lasted for a hundred and fifty days according to the Bible.
Ever since, harvest time has been a time of real thanksgiving to God for we know from Him “every good and perfect gift comes from”.
The themes of Harvest celebrations speak volumes of the joy of the season. We have such themes that include but are not limited to: Harvest of increase, Harvest of Breakthrough, Harvest of Joy, Harvest of Divine Healing, Harvest of Abundance, Harvest of Great Visitation, etc.
In the bid to properly celebrate harvest, some churches go by way of bazaar (bring and buy), although some church congregations have bitter experiences of those who buy but fail to redeem their pledges. There are some others that do not go by bazaar but each according to St. Paul brings what he already has agreed with God not with compulsion but willingly knowing fully well that God loves a cheerful giver. 2Cor9V7. Whichever way a church, a group decides to celebrate it, the importance is that they are responding to the injunction of God, to celebrate the feast of ingathering.
There is a handful that argue that what is brought is not taken by God but by His representatives (Church Workers) and so they fail to respond faithfully thinking that giving much will enrich people rather than God. It is to be said that at Harvest, God the object of our worship must be our focal point and whatever we give let us be content that we have given unto God.
C.T. Studd says: “If Christ be God and died for me, no amount of sacrifice will be too great for me to make for Him”. In the same vein, David the king says “I will not give to God that, which cost me nothing” 2 Samuel 24V24. David was content giving to God, reasonable and acceptable offering due to His name.
This season offers us another opportunity to celebrate our harvest unto God. The concern of believers is how to give to Him who first gave us in the person of Jesus Christ. He did not withhold him from us but freely offered Him for the salvation of mankind.
It is quite unfortunate that many of our country men and women do not make out time to thank God enough. The Psalmist in 92V1, 2 says “It is good to thank the Lord and make music to your name, O Most High, to proclaim your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night”.
Often, some people are too busy to give their time to God. Remember, if God has said: “celebrate the feast of ingathering at the end of the year…” it is a command that must be obeyed. What we need do is to ask for His grace to fulfill this injunction. I think this season of Harvest affords us another opportunity to demonstrate our love for Him. I know no one will appear empty handed before Him, but we need to really be in His presence to receive from Him in this season of harvest His double portion in all spheres of our endeavour. I hope, we will not let Him down.
Ven. Barr. Ernest Onuoha
Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre,