October 2021 Jottings

28 Oct 21

Ansley Jottings – Harvest

My memories of harvest as a child are still quite fresh in my mind.  I lived on a farm in West Sussex, where my father managed a herd of Jersey cattle for the landowner.  I feel privileged to have experienced the heat, dust and sounds of the combine harvester on hot dry days as it gradually ‘circled’ the field drawing ever closer to the centre and the last remaining heads of grain.  The prickly stubble was such a contrast to the waving stalks of the day before.

I remember the harvests from the garden my father tended in what spare time he had after his physically demanding working days. There was always a selection of fruit and vegetables for the family meals.  In fact I and my four siblings would ‘help’ with this harvest by creeping silently (as we thought!) between rows of raspberries and helping ourselves to the bright red berries.

I also attended traditional harvest festivals at the local village church.  The displays of fresh fruit and vegetables made a deep impression on me.  I could appreciate the abundance of the harvest but was aware also that as well as the skill and hard work of the labourers, a good harvest needed rain and sunshine at the right times – both outside human control.

 

Harvest is a time a time to;

Recognise that God is the ultimate provider of the sun and rain and all the things we need in order to live on His earth

Thank Him for all that he provides for his people

To pray that as humans we may learn to share the earth’s resources more efficiently and more effectively, while sustaining the natural world on which we all depend

Remember the passages in the Bible that describe how the farmers left gleanings for the poorest people to gather to feed themselves and their families

Acknowledge the uncertainties faced by farmers today, not just to do with the weather and climate change but also the effects of political decisions, the pandemic and pressures to find more sustainable methods of producing food that will enable the natural world to thrive.

To pray for all who grow, harvest, process, distribute and sell our food.

D.K.

We plough the fields and scatter

The good seed on the land

But it is fed and watered

By God’s almighty hand.

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