Do you notice that each year seems to pass more quickly? New Year’s brings this into focus as we consider how rapidly the year has gone, and how many things we intended to accomplish that remain undone. Each New Year’s brings the reminder we are pursued by Someone we cannot appease, Someone who will not compromise with us.
He is commonly depicted as a very old man, with a long white beard, and wearing a long robe. Around his waist hangs an hourglass with its sand nearly run out from top to bottom. He carries a sickle, and comes to hand over his responsibilities to a baby who wears a sash with the date of the New Year.
He is of course, “Father Time,” and he symbolizes the flow of time and its effects. His old body reminds us that time is the universal devourer of all things. Like the sand in the hourglass he carries, his life and ours will inevitably run out, as all good things must come to an end. His sickle indicates that some of us will face the “harvest of time” before the end of the present new year.
As unpleasant as this is, it is an inescapable reality. We remember it when we view TV specials that survey the year in retrospect, and present us with a list of memorable people who have passed on. As the reality of the sickle harvest weighs just a little heavier, even though we can’t know for sure, we reassure ourselves that this year will not be our year.
While we are all uncomfortably aware of the “harvest of time,” there is another harvest option that we may not be aware of. In fact, we all have an invitation to join it. It is God’s harvest of sons and daughters, as He invites all of humanity to become members of His forever family.
Jesus described this harvest to His disciples one day, as he stood watching the multitudes who were coming to Him. He knew they had many anxieties and insecurities, and were seeking for answers they hoped He could provide. Seeing their needs, Jesus was moved with compassion, and He described them as wandering sheep without a shepherd.
He wanted all of them to become members of God’s family, and experience the love of their Heavenly Father. He told his disciples that people were ready for this harvest, and that the disciples should labor to present God’s harvest invitation to others. Jesus knew that if we respond to God’s harvest invitation, in a very real way we are set free from the unpleasant domination of the “harvest of time.”
Colossians 1:12–14 tells us: “We are always thanking Father God, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of His people, who live in the light. For He has rescued you from the kingdom of darkness and transferred you to the kingdom of His dear Son Jesus Christ, who purchased your freedom and for gave you your sins.”
In the kingdom of light, we have complete assurance of God’s favor and goodness. We no longer fear the onward march of Father Time, for we experience God’s plan and provision for us here on earth, and we know He will welcome us home at the end of our journey.
You have a choice about which harvest you will participate in. Today I invite you to pick your harvest. Choose God’s invitation and become a member of His family. Make this new year your best year ever!
Please come join us this Sunday at 9:00 AM or 11:00 AM as we consider God’s harvest invitation. Our vision for HRock Church is that we participate fully in His harvest.