In a fortnight’s time we’ll all be celebrating together as we enjoy our Harvest weekend, a wonderful reminder of God’s majesty in creation and His bountiful goodness to mankind.
On almost every news programme we see and hear the dreadful cruelties of people to each other; in Gaza and Israel, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and a variety of African countries. Very often these dreadful deeds are carried out as acts of perverted views of religious faith. We don’t know what to do about it all except to pray. But to celebrate harvest is a wonderful counter balance, as we see God at work instead of man’s inhumanity to man.
The exceptional sunshine and warmth of June and July brought an early bumper grain harvest, and here in the heart of the countryside we saw it being brought in. We’re so fortunate to live where we do with the beauty of the moors, the coasts and the patchwork of fields, hedges, woods and rivers all around us. We see the changes as the seasons come and go. I’m so glad we still have the lovely displays of colourful flowers, fruit and vegetables as well as the tins and boxes. We are reminded of the over-flowing bounty of God; 30, 40, 60-fold of a single seed. My own sweet peas have been wonderful, a single seed producing dozens of beautiful, scented flowers. A single apple seed growing to be a tree producing a generation of thousands of apples. We rejoice in celebrating a God who so overflows with love not only in creation, but that He sent Jesus to be our friend, redeemer and Lord.
We see miracles too in the swallows which nest in our porch every year. They come in April, have usually two broods of lovely young ones, then fly away by harvest time on their journeys of thousands of miles to Africa. Another reminder of the miracles we see around us every day.
They don’t stay in the building, they go out into the world! A reminder to us to do the same with our faith. We can do this in many ways. We can invite people in from the ‘outside’, as I hope we will all do for our harvest services. We can take God’s love out in a practical way, as we do with our Food Bank groceries. We can share with others as we’ll be doing on Saturday October 10th in the village hall, when as Christians Together we’ll be inviting anyone and everyone to come to a meal and hear about the much needed work of Shelter Box.
So let’s not only celebrate together the wonder and joy of harvest; but let’s spread our wings like the swallows, and do all we can to take God’s love out to those around us, in whatever way God has best fitted us for.