The Harvest Is Great

Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest.’

Matthew 9: 35 – 38

Dear Friends,

The anonymous poet writes:
For the hay and the corn and the wheat that is reaped,
For the labour well done, and the barns that are heaped,
For the sun and the dew and the sweet honeycomb,
For the rose and the song and the harvest brought home —
Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving!

We have much to give thanks for. Our local farmers have gathered in, harvested, the ripe crops and we come together to give thanksgiving for that which was sown and flourished over the growing season. We also give thanks for the skills and labour necessary for the successful reaping, gathering and heaping of the bounties of the earth.

In other parts of the country thanks is given for the harvest of the sea, the forests, natural resources and intellectual endeavour. In August we gave thanks for our young people who harvested their GCSE, A Level and vocational results and who now move forward to the next stage of their lives.  Harvesting is therefore bound not just to the land but to the time of the seasons and the necessary conditions for the transition from sowing to the gathering in.  Life in all its bounty is the story of seeds sown and abilities, skills and dreams allowed to flourish through loving care and support.

For the labour well done, and the barns that are heaped,
For the sun and the dew and the sweet honeycomb,

Matthew describes Jesus as ‘the Lord of the Harvest’. Jesus is out and about amongst the people, moving between communities preaching, teaching and caring. This is no distant and detached Saviour; Jesus is tending, caring for the people openly expressing his compassion for all regardless of their personal situations. There was much to do … there still is.

The harvest of the fields is but once a year. We, on the other hand, are offered the ‘Spirit of the Harvest’ all the time – day in, day out. Our generous Creator God blesses each one of us regardless of our personal situations providing all that we might need enabling us to flourish, therefore, not to any set season or time but constantly and always in God’s own time. This generosity is boundless for as Paul concluded “he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.”

In giving thanks let us not be limited in our gratitude for in the ‘Lord of the Harvest’ we are assured a gracious, constant and unlimited bounty.  

With all good wishes

Jonathan.