Pastoral Letter September 2012

Jesus said: Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!

– John 4:35

Dear Friends,

It seems that the year is gathering pace, and our nonexistent Summer is going to give way to Autumn before long. Harvest season is well underway, and we will be especially remembering and giving thanks for Harvest before the end of the month. It is always good to give thanks to the Lord for all His blessings to us.

Modern life is quite divorced from the realities of farming and hard labour in order to provide food. Most of today’s younger generation know nothing of agricultural work, and ‘food’ is just something we buy in packets from the supermarket. Here at Morton, we have the privilege to meet in the midst of fields, and to see farmers at work – especially our friend and neighbour, Tim.

We do well to remember that we should not presume on times and seasons – but that all these things continue by God’s grace and favour. This year’s bad weather – drought followed by untimely deluge –  should keep us from presuming too far!

Our cover art is our late brother Spencer’s work, and our cover verse is our Saviour’s words. We can see the crops ready for gathering in the painting. As our Saviour stood in Samaria, He may have seen crops for harvest, but He referred in His words to many of the Samaritans being saved because of the testimony of the woman He met at the well. He taught the disciples that they had been sent to reap what they had not sown (read the full account in John 4 v5-42).

We long to see people being saved in our community, and so we are seeking to sow gospel seed whenever we can in outreach work – but we must not be discouraged when we don’t see results from our own specific actions. Seed has been sown over many years, by many people, here and elsewhere. God is working His purposes out, and the Harvest is ready for gathering – we are to engage in sowing and reaping.

Don’t expect to see something in a year or two. Expect to see something now. God is answering prayers among us, and He is blessing our witness. Please come and join in the labour of reaching out – opportunities exist for everyone to serve the Lord – could you distribute invitations to a few streets in town? Could you come and support the bookstall even for an hour? Could you dedicate time to prayer? Will we really take God at His word? Do we really care about our lost community?

Lift up your eyes. You might be surprised at what you see!

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