We have just come through the season of Harvest, and already our thoughts are turning towards Christmas but before they do I would like to reflect for just a moment upon Harvest. To a certain extent it seems to be the forgotten season, yet it is one, I think that helps us to remember not just the beauty of creation, but importantly how the land sustains us and feeds us. These days produce is flown in from all parts of the world, we only have to visit our local supermarket to be able buy fresh strawberries no matter what the month. Hence, I think Harvest is about understanding, even in our consumer driven society, that we still need to rely upon the hard work of our farmers, cultivating the soil planting the crop and at the right time, bringing in the harvest. This keeps us in an abundance of food although there are other parts of the world, some of which are a good deal closer to home, where food is indeed a rare commodity and hunger is a way of life. So we need to be mindful of that and help where we can, and of course our donation at harvest either through food or money is an opportunity to do that.
But this is also a time to give thanks, thanks to God for his creation that keeps us sustained for in one simple act God said “Let the land produce vegetation; seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” (Genesis 1: 11) So next time we go to our local supermarket and thank the person on the checkout desk as we leave, let us not forget where our food comes from and give thanks to God.
So our attention now turns to Christmas and the dread of Christmas shopping, shops that never seem to close, tempting us to buy whether we want to or not, which has turned Christmas into a money making venture. The simple act of a baby being born in a stable some two thousand years ago can often be forgotten. Yet this is the story of God being involved not just in the world he created, but also in humanity, reaching out to each one of us through his son Jesus. Touching and changing lives, bringing about, I believe, the richness and fullness of what it is to be us. So like Harvest time, Christmas is also an opportunity to give thanks to God for his generosity of the most precious gift to us, his son Jesus Christ.