As we move into Autumn thoughts of harvest arise in both country and city dwellers; a throw-back to our agrarian ancestry. It's a remembered time of reaping, lifting, and storing to provide food during the colder months of winter. In our current food market talk of food-miles dominate: for example, strawberries in December from Chile, but we shrug and enjoy the delight despite the cost.
In Jesus's environment, harvest time was critical. Most lived on a subsistence diet where a poor harvest could lead to starvation; something we in the West have long forgotten.
In the Gospel of Thomas, there are a number of logia that use harvest in the parables. One such example is:
The kingdom of the Father is like a man
who owned good seed.
His enemy came at night,
he sowed weeds among the good seed.
The man did not allow the labourers to pull up the weeds;
he said to them: lest perhaps you should go,
saying "we will pull up the weeds",
and you pull up the wheat with it.
For on the day of the harvest
the weeds will appear;
they will be pulled up and will be burned Logion #57
This logion tells the story of how weeding too early can damage/reduce the crop; we all know this when we weed our own gardens. We wait until the crop is more mature then the weeds can be easily seen and removed without disturbance.
There is a deeper meaning in this logion: our ahamkara; our 'weed', our enemy.
We all start out life open, honest, joyful, trusting, loving, and living in the now: look at any young child of about two years old! But as we mature we build our defences-our fa ç ades and other 'weeds' start to grow: fear, distrust, anger, etc. This happens naturally as we mature; ahamkara thrives and chokes our precious seeds.
When the time is right-and everyone will have their own 'right-time'-then our day of harvest is when we see our weeds as they are and can now deal with them. What weeds are restricting your joy? Your trust in others? Your love? Pull them up and burn them.
In doing this we reap our own 'harvest' of happiness and joyousness; one of
the many fruits of Jesus' Kingdom.