Most of us in Redbourn aren’t directly involved in ploughing, sowing and gathering crops and so I think that the first thing we should do at Harvest is to give thanks for those who do this work for the benefit of us all. The hours can be long, the work can feel never-ending and the uncertainties many and so we should spare a thought for the many farmers in our community as we give thanks for their dedication and skill in producing the abundance and variety of food we can enjoy.
But as we do this, I know that many farmers carry out this work with great sensitivity and an awareness that balance, nature and the environment must be honoured and respected in what they do. Many would see this as about a partnership with nature and creation. It points beyond themselves, and beyond ourselves, to the source of all that we enjoy – to Almighty God.
I was struck by this quote I came across recently:
“The law of harvest is to reap more than you sow. Sow an act, and you reap a habit. Sow a habit and you reap a character. Sow a character and you reap a destiny.”
I think it says a number of helpful things at this time of Harvest. It speaks of our own connectedness and that our actions, in farming as in all of life, have their fruits. For those of us not involved in agriculture and farming Harvest might be a time to consider what sorts of things we sow, how we are generous and what we are growing in terms of nurture, care and support for those around us.
As we celebrate Harvest, it is traditional to think beyond ourselves and we will be doing this in several ways. We will be delivering little Harvest Hampers and posies of flowers to some of the older members of our community who perhaps can’t make it to church for our Harvest celebrations. We will also be collecting tins and dry goods to support DENS, our local food bank. A list of the items they need can be found here.
And finally, and further afield, we will be collecting money for the Bishop of St Alban’s Harvest appeal. This year the appeal is supporting rural communities in the Philippines with resources to grow a variety of crops and it will make a real difference to their health, welfare and education.
This Harvest, I hope that all we sow and do will be fruitful and generous,