What does the word harvest mean? More importantly, what does it mean to you?
Much depends on your world view, is it a horizontal or vertical world view?
On July 1st, we harvested 41 meat chickens. I had gone to a farm to help and learn before we even thought to bring meat birds on the farm. I wanted to know if I could do this and how it would impact me.
After the first go round of about 200, it was OK and we purchased our 40. We were given 41.
From a horizontal world view, for me it means bringing in the food. I think mostly fruits and veggies, but the term is used also for animals now. I’m not sure when it came about from words like butcher or process, but they all really mean the same thing, harvest just sounds better.
From the world view perspective, the term breaks down even further, from animal rights advocates, to commercial processing plants. I believe in animal rights to an extent. I believe if we bring them onto our property, we are responsible for their care from start to the end of their life. To make sure they are treated well, healthy, fed and watered well. That they live in an area that is kept well.
When we shift our gaze vertically, this is where things begin to shift from many of the horizontal perspectives. In Genesis 1: 26-28, we have been given charge over the earth. If you check the originally meaning, words like dominate, subdue, prevail against, and the like are root meanings. This is where 1 Corinthians 13 comes into our life. For if we act and have not love, it really means nothing. Looking further in 1 John 2, it breaks things down further into if we love horizontally or vertically. We are not to love this world nor the things in this world; this what it means to have a horizontal love, love of the world.
Unto the glory of God our Father, we harvest. We offer thanksgiving, for all good things come from Him. In Him comes a bounty. It doesn’t always look like we may want or think we need, He is Jehovah Jireh regardless. This name is used only once in Genesis 22, but its placement is at the time the Lord provided the replacement for Issac who Abraham was to sacrifice. The Lord provided the ram. God’s timing was perfect.
Our Lord provides. So in the workings of His provisions, even when there may seem to be a lack; we love, we give thanks, we share that which we have been provided, for the harvest is meant to bring glory to God and us joy.
So, we harvested our meat birds. It went very well. But that is not all we did. We started the beginning of a community. A knitting of a fabric of relationships that compliment each other, strengthen each other, and where we love one another.
We hope, we pray, this is a community that grows, not just in number, but in love for God, Jesus, and His plans and purposes for all that He provides.
All working towards the day the Lord of the harvest comes for His Church.