An old farmer sat on the steps of his small shack chewing on a piece of straw. He was approached by a passing stranger who was looking for a cool drink of water. Wishing to start a conversation with the farmer, the stranger asked, "How is your cotton crop coming this year?"
"I ain’t got none", replied the farmer.
"Didn’t you plant any?" asked the stranger.
"Nope," said the farmer, "I was afraid the boll weevils would get it."
"Well," asked the stranger, "how is your corn?"
"Didn’t plant any corn either," replied the man, "I was afraid there wasn't going to be any rain."
"If you didn't plant any cotton or corn, what did you plant?’ asked the man.
"Nothing," said the farmer. "I just played it safe!"
Well, I guess if you don't plant anything, it makes the harvest a lot easier, doesn't it?
In our Bible reading today, Jesus sent out people to bring in the harvest. The harvest Jesus was talking about was not cotton, fruit or vegetables. He was sending out workers to bring people into the kingdom of God. He said that there were many souls who were ready to be harvested, but there were not enough workers. One reason it was hard to find workers was that it was very difficult work. Jesus warned that the workers in his kingdom would often be treated very unkindly.
Jesus is still looking for people who will work for him and bring people into his kingdom. That is what the church is supposed to do. It won't always be easy. In fact, it will be hard. Many people in the church are like the farmer in our story -- they are "just playing it safe." I have heard that eight out of ten church members have never invited anyone to church and that nine out of ten church members have never won anyone to Christ.
How about you? Are you willing to work for Jesus and invite people to come to church? Will you go and tell people about Jesus' love and that he died on the cross so that they could have everlasting life? There are many souls who are need to be brought into God's kingdom, but there just aren't enough workers.
Father, we want to be faithful workers telling others about Jesus and his love. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.