A message from the Rev’d Diana Netherway, Assistant Curate

Posted by Admin on Monday, 22nd September 2014, 15:30

 

Autumn is here and already the trees and hedgerows are donning their rich glow of golds, browns and reds. Fruits of the orchards and wild berries have been gathered to be stored in freezers or made into delicious pies and crumbles.

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Agricultural vehicles have been out in force as farmers work hard from dawn until dusk harvesting their fields of bountiful crops. They are reaping the benefit of the glorious and plentiful sun we have enjoyed this summer. We have a lot to thank our farmers and food producers for when we consider their sacrifices of time and energy, and for their perseverance in difficult conditions, whether it be the political and economic environment or weather and soil conditions. It is something we ought to consider if our patience wears thin when a tractor slows down the traffic for a minute or three !! The driver is, perhaps, on the way to harvest his third field of the day! So let’s pray for him as we wait patiently for a safe place to overtake!
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At Harvest Time in particular the church offers prayers and thanksgiving in appreciation for farmers and all who steward God’s creation in order to provide us with food for our tables. Yet here in the Western World we often take our good fortune and blessings for granted. We forget sometimes that in some countries they are not so fortunate. So harvest is a time when we might also think about and pray for those around the world whose crops have failed. Those whose water supply is polluted, dirty or undrinkable. Those affected by famine, floods or drought. Those who suffer through disease and lack of medical supplies. Not only should we remember them and pray for them but we should find it in our hearts to do something practical to help, or donate generously to help them rebuild their stocks, improve their way of life and satisfy their hunger.
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Finally, harvest isn’t only about material things; it’s also an opportunity to reflect on the spiritual. Jesus told many agricultural-based stories to explain God’s Kingdom, including The Parable of the Sower, The Wheat and the Weeds, and The Rich Farmer among others.
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There are plenty of sowing, reaping, pruning and growing metaphors too, to illustrate the cause and effect of our behaviour. We do, indeed, reap what we sow. So we might consider what we are sowing in our own lives and in the lives of those around us. Do we sow words of kindness and concern or words of criticism? Does what we sow give hope or despondency? Is what we sow life-giving or life-draining? Does what we sow raise the spirit, or break the spirit in others? Do we sow seeds of joy or seeds of sorrow? It’s always good to keep a check on these things so that we can make changes if we need to.
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At this time of harvest let’s remember God’s provision, and how He loves us, and wants us to produce good fruit in ourselves and in all our dealings and relationships with others. Through His cultivation, God can transform the most unpromising plot into rich, fertile soil.
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That’s His job. He is the Lord of the Harvest!

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With many blessings
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Diana

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