Thursday, August 16, 2012

One sows, another reaps

Just then his disciples came back. They marveled that he was talking with a woman, but no one said, “What do you seek?” or, “Why are you talking with her?” So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” They went out of the town and were coming to him.
Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” So the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought him something to eat?” Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest. Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.”
Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman's testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them, and he stayed there two days. And many more believed because of his word. They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.” John 4:27-42

We took the ferry to Delaware yesterday and drove through ripe corn fields on our way to Rehoboth. The rain poured on us while we were there, and the corn looked good, tall and green in the day light. Other places have not been so blessed with water and face the worst drought in more than 50 years. We will all suffer in higher prices, but those who make their living on farms will be decimated in many places. The loss is complete. They will have to rely on others for their food and we will all have to share what we have for the good of all.

Jesus has turned the eyes of the whole world upon him as he broke barriers and shared God's love with the enemy. He wanted them to understand that they stood on the shoulders of others, none of us can do it alone, and we are interdependent - even the Son of God in his ministry. One sows and another reaps and we all benefit, unless we are foolish enough to think that we have done everything on our own and deserve everything we get. God is inviting us today to acknowledge our utter reliance on God and on our communities, families, friends and neighbors. And sometimes complete strangers on the other side of the country or the other side of the world.

Today I ask God to help me see how interdependent we all are and open my arms in love to all I encounter today. In thanksgiving for all we have received, may we be that one relation that forgives and includes, that one neighbor that smiles and welcomes, that one stranger that offers kindness and assistance. People know God by our actions, our sharing and our kindness. May we all be that one today.

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