Jesus said to his disciples, the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. This my commandment; that you love one another. (Matthew 9:35-38 (NIV)
Walking alongside the Saskatchewan riverbank, I saw remnants of snow still lurking among dead branches of trees, while the first signs of spring were appearing, as blades of new grass peeked through. Because I live in Saskatchewan, Canada; our winters are powerful and when we see the first signs of spring it is an exciting time. As grain farmers the spring season influences our lives in such a way that it allows time for labour on unworked land, trusting in God that it will produce rows of grain, knowing that no harvest can be expected if no seed is sown.
In the Christian life as well as in the farming business; springtime is a call to invest one’s earnest efforts for future gains. This challenge was presented in 1998 by Pope John Paul II’s vision of spring as he invited the world to not passively observe a fleeting season, but called all Christians to become engaged in their personal commitment to Jesus Christ.
Today we witness the church living in the midst of a culture of death; a culture increasingly hostile to the spiritual values of the Christian faith. But on February 11, 2020 the World Heath Organization announced a name for a new coronavirus disease COVID-19 that has led the whole world into a pandemic of sickness, death and ultimate fear. A fear that has led us into surrendering to a power greater than ourselves, and as Christians that power for us is God.
This pandemic of COVID-19 has truly allowed us to wake up; challenging our faith. We witnessed front line workers who forgot about themselves and sacrificed greatly to save a life of another. We saw food being taken to the homeless and the shut- ins and surprise packages being dropped off at people’s doorsteps. Our hearts were touched as we shared in the many creative ways to celebrate birthday, anniversaries and special events with social media. We got entertained online with numerous Hollywood stars and we didn’t have to pay! We grew in gratitude for the many things we took for granted, like grocery shopping, going to church, seeing our loved ones even when it meant we had to look through our car windows.
All of this was so amazing; and in the midst of it all we were actually living out the gospel. We became the hands, the feet and the voice of Jesus, fulfilling the greatest commandment to “love one another as I have loved you”! It’s almost as if God stopped the whole world with COVID-19 just to get our attention! Why? I believe God saw a great need on earth that a new seed had to be planted within the hearts of His people, a new seed of faith to revive His church. But more importantly because He loves us and promised he would never abandon us.
A new springtime is like getting a new life, a second chance! As you plant your gardens and flowers may you be reminded that you are called to sow the seed of faith in love. May you be planted in prayer and after COVID-19, may you make a decision to attend God’s church, just one hour on Sunday in thanksgiving for all He has done for you today and in the days to come. I believe there is a new springtime of blessings waiting just for you!