23 Aug

An essential message for our church before Alive Belfast from our Senior Pastor David Purse.

“Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! (John 4:35.)

In less than a month’s time, our annual mission Alive Belfast 2018 gets underway, but we could justifiably call the event – Harvest time. In reality that’s what it is, an opportunity to reach the people of our city and beyond in the fields where they live and work.

We can’t fail to have noticed the increase in polarisation within our various communities, or the damage caused in our nation due to the collapse of the Stormont Assembly.

Take a walk into Belfast on any given Saturday, and the city is full of flags and groups protesting and opposing each other; however, with Alive Belfast 2018 approaching, it’s worth remembering that Jesus sees all of these flag wavers as part of His harvest.

When He spoke to the woman at the well Jesus addressed a Samaritan woman, an enemy of the Jewish people and a person not part of the Jewish community.

Christ’s regular practice was to enter other cities to reach the lost and find a harvest.

Unlike many of us today, of course, Jesus refused to exclude any people group and didn’t judge the religious background of anyone.

Instead, he said in the book of John: “Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! (John 4:35)

What do we see when we lift up our eyes? Do we see people from different communities and religious backgrounds? Do we see people we don’t like or don’t understand?  Or do we view the woman at the well as Jesus did?

Jesus doesn’t see cultures or other religions; He sees souls that are all part of His harvest.

The people on our streets are not just those we live beside; they are part of Christ’s harvest. Just as Jesus went to win the Samaritan woman at the well, so I urge all of us not to exclude people of other cultures and communities,

The only politics Jesus is interested in is the politics of the Kingdom of Heaven.

In the great endeavour to win the lost God has ordained and privileged all of us to partner with him as we prepare for Alive Belfast 2018, but the question is: will the labourers prove few or will Jesus find labourers to go into the harvest fields?

The book of Matthew records: “Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the labourers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into His harvest.”  (Matthew 9:37:38).

I appeal to all of our members and those involved with this year’s mission to act as though the success of it depends on us, to support it every night and help distribute leaflets and literature in our respective areas.

Remember, the same challenge which Jesus gave to his disciples, He gives to us today, and  the good news is the fields are still white unto harvest.

Alive Belfast 2018 is an excellent opportunity to make a difference in our city and, more importantly, make a positive and lasting change in our nation.

Let’s not waste it!