I was visiting a friend in a Midwest farming community during harvest season. Huge combines churned through his fields, depositing soybeans into waiting wagons. My friend leaped onto one of the wagons to check out his “firstfruits.” What he saw was encouraging. Despite the worst corn crop in 40 years, the soybeans gave him reason to thank God for a good harvest.
Pentecost, which we remember today, has its roots in an agricultural setting. Fifty days after Passover, Jewish farmers celebrated the Feast of Weeks (Lev. 23:15-22), in which they recognized the hand of God who gave the crops.
Centuries later, the Lord chose the Day of Pentecost to celebrate a new harvest. Fifty days from Passover, the Holy Spirit came on a small group of believers and moved through Jerusalem, bringing in a different kind of crop. These firstfruits were men, women, and children added to the church (Acts 2:38-46).
Pentecost’s historical farming connection reminds us that a world of lost souls is ready for harvest (John 4:35). As believers in Christ, we are God’s fruit, but we are commanded to be His farmers as well.
Are we helping to bring in the new harvest?
There’s surely somewhere a lowly place
In earth’s harvest fields so wide,
Where I may labor through life’s short day
For Jesus, the crucified. —Gabriel
Without the Holy Spirit there would be no harvest.