We’re all part of the harvest, let’s hope we’re not the chaff

I used to think winnowing was the same as windrowing but it’s not.  Windrowing is the process of cutting hay and leaving it in a long line on the ground to dry.  Typically, once it’s dry, a baler comes along and scoops all of it up packing it into a bale that is held together by twine or wire.  Winnowing on the other hand is mechanically blowing air across grain to separate out the chaff, the leaves, stems and unwanted material we don’t want in the grain.  Winnowed grain is much purer and is a better product for feed or food depending on the desired use.  When we think about these processes in relation to parable about the king inviting people to the wedding feast for his so, we humans don’t come out looking too good.

You can read the whole thing here but to summarize just a bit, the first (selected) guests were rude and downright hostile to their invitation from the King.  They blew him off.  Then, when he invited them again explaining how awesome the party was they were too busy with what they had going.  Some even went so far as to bash the messengers of the invitation and kill them!  So the King took drastic measures.

He invited everyone.  This filled the party but because this was more of a windrowing operation some winnowing was necessary.  At least one guy didn’t appreciate what he had been invited to.  He hadn’t taken the time to clothe himself properly and he was summarily thrown out, like a guy without a collared shirt at a golf course.  By now your head is probably spinning with too many metaphors and agriculture processes so I’ll try and boil this down to the bottom line, the last line of the story.  Many are called but few are chosen.

The many are a windrow and the few are the pure, winnowed grain.  If we’re honest with ourselves (and believe me I put myself in this group also) we’ve been called many times.  Whether it’s to do a good deed, reach out to a fellow human with God’s love or share what we believe as our faith.  We’ve refused, ignored and even beaten back the invitation and the opportunity placed in front of us, summarily killing it.  Thankfully we’re also part of the windrow God makes of all people but we need to keep something in mind.  Even though we’re invited and can have a place at the table we still have responsibilities to prepare ourselves to be with him.  God extends the invitation but it’s up to us to show up prepared.  If we don’t we won’t be allowed to remain.

Here’s hoping we are ready and survive the winnowing process.

I don’t know about you but I’m really, really, thankful for all the invitations I’ve gotten over the years and I’m glad that even today with my poor record, God keeps asking.

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