Our harvest celebrations take place in the context of many challenges. We are living in a time of pandemic. Food and energy prices are rising. Friends in Surrey report that they still cannot get petrol. Meanwhile the media spotlight on preparations for COP26 in Glasgow ensures that the climate emergency is never far from our thoughts. It would be understandable to feel worried as we wonder what this winter will bring.
Our Gospel reading urges us not to worry about our lives, rather to fix our eyes on the Kingdom of God. It’s a hard lesson because all of us worry about our lives at some point or other – that’s only human. Yet Jesus seems to be suggesting that we mustn’t let worry dominate our thoughts, rather our commitment to God and God’s kingdom. In the Kingdom of God all will be fed and all will be clothed. There will be no climate emergency and we will once again live in harmony with one another and with the whole of Creation.
Harvest is a time to thank and to pray for all those who grow our food, who transport it and who work in our shops and markets. Our renewed understanding of our responsibility towards God’s Creation perhaps leads to a fresh appreciation of those who work the land and produce our food, not only in this country but around the world. It also gives us a deeper understanding of the interconnectedness of people and planet. As we contribute our harvest gifts to the work of the Family Haven here in Gloucester, we acknowledge that we are connected one to another. We acknowledge too our role in working with God as partners in the business of bringing in God’s Kingdom of justice and peace.
May we always live as those who share with friend and stranger, giving generously to others, with thankful hearts for all God’s gifts around us.
Rev Canon Nikki Arthy, Rector