“You shall give him the first fruits of your grain, your new wine, and your oil,
and the first shearing of your sheep.”
As we look forward to 2021, our prayer is that we look forward to what new journeys the Lord has in store for us and what new “First Fruits” will we deliver this year?
2020 has been a challenge to us in many ways: personal, physical, and spiritual. For us, it was the separation from family and friends. Although we could Zoom and see our family and friends, the shared meals and free-flowing conversations, just not the same. Spiritually there is something about physical presence that is enlivening, for instance, a touch of the hand, a hug, or the kiss of friendship and love.
So what does this have to do with the First Fruits in Deuteronomy 18:4? It has to deal with his presence amid challenges. The livelihood projects from 2020 occurred in such a manner that we were not personally present. Normally we would visit the various sites to encourage and share in whatever was taking place, both highs, and lows. Yet, we were able to share the concerns and joys in and through his presence. And in the end, the simple bag of rice from the Capiz Friends Church farming project confirmed this to us. One of the interesting events of bringing the first fruits of the harvest to the temple was the joy of being with so many family and friends that you had not seen and the meeting of new friends. This has shown us that we can take joy in knowing that we will be together again, in this life or the next. The pictured bag of rice (below) is from Capiz’s first harvest.
Spiritually, we have seen this as a time of increased study of the Word and prayer. Social Media has opened the door for us to be more intimate in praying for one another. Often someone will post the need for prayer; the overwhelming responses are a testament to God’s people sharing these burdens, sometimes with the simple response-Praying. Students in our FEAST school are committed to grow and learn as well. They seized the moment to dive into studies that they might not do otherwise, had there not been a pandemic.
So, as we look forward to 2021 and all the new challenges that we face, our prayer is that whatever you will face, remember that you do so in, and with, the presence of the Lord. Look forward in Joy, to bringing whatever “First Fruits” that will come out of your life; as you bring them to the Altar of the Lord.
- For the physical opportunity to travel to our various ministry sites soon.
- For new opportunities to bring Glory and Honor to Christ in our lives and ministry.
- For FEAST as we develop new residential and online classes, as well as reproducible resources in Tagalog and English.