United Benefice of Morton and Stonebroom with Shirland


A Time to Reap and Give Thanks

Well, what a Summer we had! But the year moves inexorably on, and now we enter Autumn and the season for our services of harvest thanksgivings. Of course, it is right that we should ‘at all times and in all places give thanks’ to God for all the great gifts which we receive. But our harvest services not only give us that opportunity specifically, but also they call us to reflect how absolutely dependant we are on God for the very basics of life. No matter all the technical genius which we see around us; no matter all the human advances in so many fields of science, medicine and every other human endeavour, the absolute bottom line is that we are utterly and totally dependant on God, even for our very existence.

I was talking to a lady recently who had been asked whether she really believed in ‘God and all that.’ “Oh, yes,” came her reply. “Who else would I say thank you to for everything?” I am not sure that that response was a clincher when it came to the debate, but I agree absolutely with the sentiment! Too often perhaps, we are good at asking God for things, but perhaps not so quick at saying thank you.

Years ago of course, certainly before the industrial revolution, people lived much closer to the land. They were very much attuned to the seasons, and indeed aware of their far more precarious circumstances. Our modern lifestyles mean that we are that much more removed in terms of our contact with the land and food production. However, not only does this behove us to retain that thanksgiving specifically, it also calls us to widen our thanksgiving for all the other gifts which contemporary life offers: from the technology mentioned above, to the matters of logistics and labour-saving devices, home comforts to increased leisure time. Not forgetting the myriad of people whose skills and labours contribute to delivering these. This will very much be a theme running through my sermons during the harvest period.

Finally, in the spirit of harvest and in a bid to practice what I preach, please contact me if you would like produce from The Rectory garden! I simply have so many apples, damsons and blackberries!

With every blessing,

 Fr Chris.

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