Some farmers are religious. Some aren’t. But they all pray. They have no other choice. Their hopes and dreams are as fragile as a butterfly’s wing. All their chips are on the table and they don’t know what hand they will be dealt. The right amount of rain at the right time means abundance. Too much rain, too little rain, big hail, and high winds are all disaster.
In the fall the corn and the beans were harvested. The farmer feeds the world. A twenty-three acre plot of land in eastern Nebraska can feed a lot of people for a long time.
I remember sitting across the table from some real estate professionals, an attorney, a couple of engineers, and the representatives of the bank who owned the property. They were talking about things my schooling in theology and languages and philosophy didn’t train me to understand. Thankfully, I was surrounded by some of our people who understood these things and then some. A light clicked on in my head much brighter than the overhead lights in the crowded conference room.
It is still going to be a farm. The fertile ground is now holy ground. More feeding and better feeding is going to happen than ever before. The meal won’t be corn and beans, but the bread of life and the living water. Children will be loved, developed, and mentored. Parents will be supported. People will discover purpose and passion. Friendships will be forged. Relationships will be restored. The lonely will be embraced. The addict will find recovery. The overwhelmed will get some rest. The sinner will receive forgiveness. The scoundrel and the saint and all those in between will be equipped for service. Words of grace will be spoken. Prayers will be prayed. Songs will be sung. Baptisms and weddings will happen. Communion will be served. It’s all a feast fit for a king. And we’ve collected more than 100,000 pounds of food over the last few years running this operation out of an office condo and rented schools. No reason we can’t have a food pantry with corn and beans and other healthy stuff for hungry people. And maybe some clothes and anything else God wants us to share with our community.
Weather permitting, today is our first worship service on this property. We are going to baptize many people. We are going to welcome our guests. We are going to eat together, hear God’s Word, love our kids, pray, and connect with one another. It’s what we do and it is what we are going to do.
Your faithfulness and God’s abundance have provided this property. I hope all of us take a little time this morning to pray and dream. We have had some great days, but our best days are in front of us.