Poppies among the Fields

We were driving past a field in northern France when the Lord told me to stop and take a picture of it. He then showed me how this picture illustrates the reality of the world today and the urgent need for us, the Church, to respond.

As you look at it, you’ll first see grain that’s abundant and ready to be harvested. We know that Jesus described the world as ripe grain fields that would be lost unless His people acted to harvest them

But you’ll also notice a few bright red poppies scattered along the front edge of the field. In some Commonwealth countries, poppies* represent those who offer themselves sacrificially in battle to provide life to others.

Jesus invited us to discipleship with these statements: “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for My sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it” (Mark 8:34-35 NLT).

In other words, Jesus invites us to set aside our priorities, preferences and privileges and pick up God’s redemptive plan, making it our own. He invites us today: “Lose your life for My sake and for the sake of the Good News”.

Our world is full of fields waiting for “poppies”.


Some poppies are believers who carry the Cross by praying fiercely and relentlessly for unreached ethnic groups.

Other poppies give generously and sacrificially to send pioneer missionaries to those fields or create contextualized tools for making disciples among the unreached.

Still other poppies sow abundant seeds of the Gospel in their own cultural contexts and treat neighbours from unreached groups as divine opportunities.

And because thousands of fields (ethnic groups) still have no access to the Gospel, they cry out for poppies in the form of disciples willing to give up their lives in order to take Jesus to them.

What do mobilizers do? They remind the Church of her mission in the world, a mission that often gets lost in the swirl of opinions and preferences. They help believers grasp the true state of the harvest. And they raise up poppies of all kinds for the most neglected fields.

* Artificial poppies are worn on lapels or made into wreaths and placed on veteran’s graves on Nov 11, Remembrance Day. The tradition came about shortly after WWI and honours the many young man who paid the ultimate price for others.

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