It’s that time of year again! Harvest Festivals in every church! Here is a reflection by a friend of mine about Harvest Time and the last days of summer.Why not add you thoughts on Harvest, Church and Summer going?
Reflections on the last days of the summer by Chris Powell.
When asked about this year’s harvest a local farmer stated. “It’s not been a bad year really the quality of hay was good, the silage and haylage cut before its time and plentiful”. In short it’s been a growing year with some warm sunshine interspersed with plenty of rain so all talk of droughts following a wet winter were quickly dispelled. In the gardens the crops kept coming and so did the weeds so gardens are looking decidedly overblown and need of a good haircut.
These past few weeks we have seen an Indian summer filled with golden days with southerly winds and bright skies that have encouraged insects and birds to forage among the many flowers that show such an intensity of colour at this time of year. The still warm air has encouraged young buzzards to wheel and mew as though they are missing their nests but delighting in flight. Small mammals have been busy collecting the rich harvest of hazel nuts and hawthorn berries making sure that they have enough stores of fat and feed for winter.
All is well then in the Vale as we bask in this last bit of summer which we know will end soon as at Atlantic lows come in and stir up the atmosphere and lash us with hail and driving rain. We await the winter with slight uncertainty not like the past when hunger always stalked leaving our forefathers prone to sickness and exhaustion but wondering if we can escape the worst ravages of winter and whether our plants will survive the frost and drying and searing east winds.
And so it is in the wider world that dark clouds seem to suck at our very sense of well-being when images of drowning seekers of a better life and escapists from war torn ancient cities that literally being blown to bits. Where is the humanity in this and why can nothing be done to stop this madness. In truth there are no easy answers and no quick fixes and unfortunately no politicians or world leaders to command an end to this terrible affliction.
And we as Christians reflect on this from cosy existence and wonder how we can make a difference. Last Sunday we had a reading from the prophet Amos threatening those who lounge on their couches … who are not grieved on the ruin of Joseph. And the Gospel where Jesus gave us the parable of the rich man who dressed in purple and feasted sumptuously each day and looked down at Lazarus covered in sores and how their situations became reversed when both died.
The church is looking for a way to redress these imbalances not to make Christians feel embarrassed by their good fortune of finding god and living comfortable lives but rather to be aware and reach out to those in need. We are being encouraged to rediscover and revealing god’s kingdom through 7 sacred spaces involving Prayer, Worship, Decisions, Meeting one another, Working together for the common good an Sharing not only our harvest but our knowledge of Christ and also to study and continually learn about our faith.
These are practical measures and together we can make a difference!