Today, I harvested my first mint crop. I’ve never had great success with herbs, and my current garden is my first vegetable garden. And, well, I’ve never had much of a green thumb.
But today, today I got my first mint for the perfect first iced tea of the season. It is my first fruit.
The Bible talks a lot about our first fruits, primarily in commands to return these to God through sacrifices (eg Exodus 23:19). He has always demanded our best (Cain brought a sacrifice, but Abel brought the best portions of his flock’s firstborn in Genesis 4), blessing those who follow his commands.
So, why is it that we are to give our first fruits (or really, any fruits) in sacrifice? Why does God want that from us, especially as he doesn’t need it?
There are many reasons, reasons I’m sure you’ve heard plenty of times in the obligatory stewardship sermons that every pastor has to give from time to time. A few of those reasons are:
- we are commanded to
- it provides for others, both in the church and outside the church
- it teaches us responsibility and stewardship
- it puts our priorities in order
- it turns our attention to Christ
So what is the significance of my mint tea today? This was my first harvest, so it belongs to Christ. This drink is an offering to the one that grew the mint. I don’t believe that all offerings must be something that you give away, like a tithe, but instead that some offerings are something you still might consume yourself (most sacrifices in Scripture were consumed by the priests, at least). This is an offering of my thoughts. With this first harvest, I sit reminded of the goodness of our creator, without whom nothing would grow for me to harvest.
I sit with my mint iced tea rearranging my priorities, using this an opportunity to contemplate the humbleness of my heart and to bring myself more closely in line with God’s desires for my time, my life and my path as I walk with him.
How will God use your first fruits?