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Weekly Devotionals

Bounty on the Edges

This recent summer, when we were able to travel to the States to be with family for the first time in almost three years, we spent the majority of our time in northern Maine. Since there is a lot of nostalgia that can come with revisiting warm and familiar places, I felt a little more aware of the senses I was taking in such as: the brightness of the bluest skies, the freshness of newly cut grass (we didn’t have to mask outside!), and the silence of a walk in a dense forest.

Where we were staying, there was a house on a street corner that had filled their yard with meter-high raspberry bushes. Since they were in season, these berries were full of promise for how they would serve someone’s breakfast toast or become a jarred gift to a friend or even garnish a dessert. Since I love these berries, I admired them every time. One thing that struck me good was one day when I was strolling my baby Jubilee around the neighborhood and the homeowner popped her head up from among the thorns.

“Hi there! Feel free to pick from any of the bushes along the edges if you’d like,” she said. Wow, she must have read my pallet. It immediately brought my remembrance to the instructions the Lord gave to Moses to share with the Israelites regarding the Sabbath of the land and the Feast of Weeks.

Leviticus 23:22 instructs, “’When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and for the foreigner residing among you. I am the LORD your God.’”

Even though I am originally from the US, I sometimes feel like a foreigner in my return after so many years away. And this woman surely did not know me or where I was coming from. She was simply offering some of the bounty that filled her land. Her harvest was great, yet she left the edges for a passerby, like myself.

When I think about what Jubilee Church is doing these days with Community Renewal and our efforts to connect with, serve, and empower our immediate community in Myeongdong, I see this being lived out as well. As we consider our “edges” and all that we have to offer among the parts of our particular Jubilee body, I believe we have more to offer this community than anyone can!

Who, but the people of God, have more of an opportunity to serve, even unto the poor and the foreigner among us?

BTW, I love this paradox: We are the foreigner and the poor and we are also called to serve the foreigner and the poor. So as we continue to navigate this role, movement and calling to love our neighbors here in Myeongdong, let’s keep the “harvest” great within so we can have plenty to offer beyond the edges!