A New Devotion on Cove’s Prayer Line - The Right Time and Place


Below is a new devotion I just left on the Cove Presbyterian Church prayer line. You can find a recording of this devotion on the prayer line (1-304-748-7900). You may find other devotions, sermons, essays, articles, and announcements on The Cove Community blog. You might also want to visit the congregational website (covepresbyterian.org) for more church information.

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John 4:31-42

Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, "Rabbi, eat something." But he said to them, "I have food to eat that you do not know about." So the disciples said to one another, "Surely no one has brought him something to eat?" Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to complete his work. Do you not say, 'Four months more, then comes the harvest'? But I tell you, look around you, and see how the fields are ripe for harvesting. The reaper is already receiving wages and is gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. For here the saying holds true, 'One sows and another reaps.' I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor."

Many Samaritans from that city believed in him because of the woman's testimony, "He told me everything I have ever done." So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them; and he stayed there two days. And many more believed because of his word. They said to the woman, "It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the Savior of the world."

The Right Time and Place

You know, few things feel as bad as missing something you planned to attend, because you’ve remembered either the wrong time or the wrong place. Now, I’ve got to admit this happened to me a couple of months ago. We had tickets to attend a play in Pittsburgh, but for some reason, I had it in my mind that the performance was set for a date seven days after the show closed. And so, we got dressed up, parked downtown, had dinner and then walked over to the theater, only to find that a nostalgia band was playing, which explained some of the conversations we heard on the elevator in the parking garage and the guys hawking concert t-shirts on the street. I goofed, and we missed the show, something that made us both frustrated and sad.

But I’ll tell you, there’s something that we all might miss, and it’s far more important then a show. You see, according to Jesus, the harvest it ready, and we’ve been called to bring it in. But if we wait and assume that the time isn’t quite right, we’re going to be too late. Or, and this may be the bigger problem, if we expect it to be at a certain place and involve certain people, we might completely miss the fields that are ready. You see, as the spirit touched Samaritans after Jesus talked to the woman at the well, the spirit is preparing people all over the world to hear the good news of love and mercy and grace, a message that will be shared even if we decide to stay home. Still, imagine the joy and satisfaction we’ll miss if, instead of working with all our brothers and sisters to bring in the sheaves, we’re waiting for the wrong date and going to the wrong place.