- Blog post: 3/31/2017, Albany Oregon | By Pastor John Leon, Executive Director
After the harsh winter months, spring is always a welcome sight. The cherry blossom trees and flowers blooming remind us of the new life the season brings. Such new life is conceived by the principle of seed-sowing. As we know, until a seed is sown, there is nothing to harvest or produce. But, when a seed is planted in the ground, it provides growth for what it is designed to produce. And, though many would say this is a “law of science,” the reality is there is a greater law that transcends this agricultural process. It is the eternal truth of “Giving and Receiving.”
This truth is encased in the “ethos” (character) of the Triune Godhead. We know God is love, which is the expression of selfless giving. God loves, based on who he is and can give himself, even without receiving. It is his very nature to give. Therefore, it is not coincidence Jesus spoke metaphorically to describe this same truth when he said, “Unless a grain a wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit (John 12:24).”
The central message of our Easter celebration is this eternal law of giving and receiving. Father God, so loved the world, he gave up his beloved Son, Jesus. Because of Jesus’ love for the Father, he willingly gives up his life to him (John 14:31). Jesus does this, knowing he is the Eternal Seed, who will produce the new family God desired and destined “before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:3-6).” This means The Plan was conceived by the Father before the world was even created. Jesus agreed to the New Covenant, and willingly accepted its construction on his body (Isa. 42:6). And, the Holy Spirit consummated it on the “Day of the First Fruits Harvest” (Pentecost).
We must remember, there can be no fruit-bearing, without a death of the Eternal Seed. This explains how the Cross was a “natural fit” for the Godhead. It is their nature to give, selflessly, even sacrificially. Their love is incomparable to anything the world knows. Is it any wonder, such love only produces the new eternal family God desired long before creation? “In love, he predestined us for adoption as sons (non-gender) through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will (the Father), to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved (Jesus) (Eph. 1:5-6).”
All because of God’s grace, he gave us Jesus. And, he continues to give us himself through his Holy Spirit. What shall be our response? What can we give to God? The only thing we can give...a surrendered heart! Isn’t he worth it? He does not disappoint, my friend, for Jesus has promised, “Because I live, you also will live (John 14:19).” This is the marvelous message of Easter, all because of the nature of God’s endless and unfathomable giving. What a plan, what a Savior, what a love of selfless giving!
Now, speaking of giving, our board has asked me to make a special appeal for an important need for our farm. We have some land that requires cultivation every spring, for the planting of various crops. We are in need of a new tractor, but since they are rather expensive, we are seeking to buy a used one in good condition. It will also need a front-loader which will be utilized for our woodlot. A conservative cost estimate for the tractor is about $20,000.
It will be called, “Jason’s Tractor,” in honor of Jason Gould, who passed away tragically at 23 years of age.
Jason primarily loved six things in life: His family and friends, the outdoors, farming, animals, the homeless and Jesus. He had a special place in his heart for the homeless, and enjoyed spending time on our farm.
It is our hope you will give generously, in Jason’s memory, for the purchase of this important farm tool that will prove to be invaluable to our mission. On behalf of our board, we thank you in advance. And please know, we are very grateful for every dollar invested in Albany Helping Hands.
May You Have a Blessed Easter Celebration,
Pastor John E. Leon, Executive Director