Note from Jim… (October 2018)

7th October 2018

May this year be a great start to your life ahead.

May this Harvest Festival bring prosperity and good luck into your life.

Above is a quote from a Keralan (Indian State) Harvest greeting. Throughout the world harvest is seen as a time for thanksgiving and celebration.

In Kerala, the outside of houses are decorated with flowers; flowers are even laid down as carpets. The celebration of Harvest goes on for ten days and culminates with all the family coming together for a nine-course meal.

Harvest in our country seems to have become lost in the hurly burly of modern life. We take our daily food for granted as it’s only a quick trip to the supermarket for whatever we need. We have lost our connection with nature unless we are directly connected with the farming community.

Those of us with gardens find Harvest quite exciting as we gather the fruit and veg we have grown, though many now see such gardening as a hobby for old retired people.

It is easy to assume that in our modern progressive world we have control of all things and food will always be plentiful and available. As Chris reminded us at our Harvest celebrations, we can sow and we can plant but if the rain doesn’t come, and the sun doesn’t shine all our work will be in vain.

Living in a moderate climate we take much for granted but over the last year we have had some stark reminders of how badly things can go when the weather takes unexpected turns. The terrible devastation in Indonesia is the most recent reminder of how much we have to be thankful for. Earthquakes, tsunami and volcanic eruptions in a relatively small area have taken over a thousand lives, torn families apart, destroyed homes and workplaces bringing hunger and disease. As we celebrate our harvest it is important to hold those who suffer from natural disaster in our prayers and to remember our own dependence on a creation respected and held in balance.

As we give thanks for our harvest we pray for those who till the soil and fish the seas, we pray for those suffering from natural disaster and ask God’s Holy Spirit to guide as as we seek to be faithful stewards of His creation.