Reflection for Harvest
Today is Harvest Festival at St Melangell’s when the Singing Farmer, John Hughes, shared songs and thoughts about harvest during the service. As his thoughts were related to those songs, which can’t be posted, today’s reflection is from the Farming Community Network and is followed by a children’s prayer based on the letters of the word Harvest.
Stuck behind a tractor!
Hoorah!! It is harvest time again!! There you are, hurtling through the lanes in your car on some mission of huge national importance, muttering venomously at cyclists in helmets shaped like wasps’ bottoms, inconsiderate enough to want a bit of your road (and hoping they can’t lip-read), rounding a bend and coming up behind the ponderous majesty of a tractor and trailer. On closer inspection over the next ten minutes you conclude that it is actually a convoy of three tractors and two trailers and the glory of the aforementioned ponderous majesty begins to wear a bit thin! Hoorah. It is harvest time again. And I would wager a considerable sum that most of you do not at this point start singing songs of everlasting thanks and praise to our great God for his generous provision, or blessing the farmers for the work they do to put food on our plates!
So here is your challenge for harvest and beyond. I’ve learned to do it and if I can manage it anyone can. If you get stuck on your travels behind a tractor or a combine or a plough or any other mysteriously shaped implement of the sod, (by which I mean, of course, the soil!) take it as an opportunity for reflection, for thanksgiving and for praise.
Why should you bother? Firstly because praising God for what he gives us should become a matter of habit in all of us and secondly because as a nation we owe a huge debt of gratitude to the farmers who are taken totally for granted by most of us who have become emotionally and practically detached from the source of our food.
We cannot and must not take national food security as a given. Climate change and population growth mean that it is more difficult to produce enough grain for the world’s needs. Global markets will sell to the highest bidder regardless of need. Political mismanagement and the power of global enterprise in the inherently local business of food production are putting countless family farms out of business.
So when you get stuck behind that tractor take a deep breath, smile and wave at the farmer and ask for God’s blessing on his family and work. Reflect on our corporate relationship to food and the land as the God given source of all our well-being and praise God from whom all blessings flow.
And if I rush in late to take your service on a Sunday morning you will understand why!
Happy harvest one and all.
Reverend Sarah Brown.
A Harvest Prayer, based on the letters of the word itself.
HARVEST time is here again.
We HAVE brought THE flowers, fruit and vegetables that we HAVE grown in THE summer HEAT.
We STARE AT THE HARVEST of EARTH and SEA. We RAVE over THE lovely flowers arranged in A VASE. Thank you, Lord God, for HARVEST.
We throw good food away as TRASH for RATS to EAT AT an alarming RATE.
We HAVE so much; while millions STARVE.
SAVE us from greed and selfishness.
Help us, Lord, to SHARE THE good things you HAVE given,
that everyone may HAVE enough to EAT, STAVE off THE pangs of hunger and AVERT starvation.
Take away all HATE from our HEARTS
and fill THE EARTH with your love from EAST to west and back again.
HEAR our prayer, Lord of the HARVEST.