“Peace has in it confidence in the Lord: that He directs all things, provides all things, and that He leads to a good end.” - Arcana Caelestia §8455
Kempton New Church

Autumn 2005

Dear Neighbor,

It’s a beautiful time of year – harvest time. Jesus spoke of the harvest in one of His farming parables:

The kingdom of God is as if a man should cast seed into the earth, and should sleep and rise night and day, and the seed should sprout and grow up, he knows not how. For of its own accord the earth bears fruit: first a blade, then an ear, then full wheat in the ear. But when the fruit is ripe, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest stands ready. (Mark 4:26-29)

Although we have to do our part, it’s really the Lord Himself who makes our food grow. Scientists know a lot of things about how plants grow, but it’s still really miraculous that out of soil, water, air, heat and light comes something so good and nutritious as wheat. No one really knows why things grow – why living things, at least for a while, grow into higher states of order and usefulness, when the second law of thermodynamics says that things tend to a state of disorder.

The spiritual harvest corresponds to the natural harvest. We have a lot to do: planting seeds, by learning things from the Word; and hoeing out the weeds (our bad habits, that keep coming back!) by practicing repentance. Sometimes it’s a lot of heavy work.

As long as we imagine that we are doing the main work, we are mentally asleep. Meanwhile, the Lord brings up a blade from the seed: a kind of theoretical understanding of basic truths, as that really, God does all things. Then the head begins to grow, as we see, through our life’s experience, that we are not really in charge and invincible, but the Lord is. Finally, the Lord brings the grain to ripeness, in a real love and gratitude to Him for all His hard work and loving care of us. We are waking up.

I hope you are enjoying this beautiful October weather, seeing the crops being harvested by our hard-working farmers. When we see the empty cornfields or the fields waiting to be harvested, we can think of the Lord’s parable, and thank Him for the harvest – both natural and spiritual.

And if you’d like a break, stop by the Autumn Weekends booth on Hawk Mountain Road for some good food and a little visit with neighbors, Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00 to 6:00. Spiritual food is served at services every Sunday at 10:00, and you’re welcome. Also, please see our new website: www.kemptonnewchurch.org.