Be Still Know
Psalm 65.9 NLT
‘You take care of the earth and water it, making it rich and fertile. The river of God has plenty of water; it provides a bountiful harvest of grain, for you have ordered it so.’
These days less than two percent of the population is involved in agriculture and so, for most of us, harvesting feels a world away from our everyday lives. In pre-Industrial society most people were involved in agriculture and harvest was a massive communal activity. It was desperately hard work and the lives of agricultural workers were intimately bound up with the rhythms of the seasons. It’s no wonder that many of the psalms make reference to harvesting. Our circumstances are very different, but we are still dependent on the work of our farmers and so I am delighted that over the next few weeks most of our churches will be involved in harvest celebrations. They remind us that our food, however it comes to us, is a gift from God.
This is a good moment to focus attention on our farmers. It is well known that the rate of suicide is high amongst those who work on the land. The pressures upon them at any time are many and these have been exacerbated by the changes in our climate of recent years and the increase of extreme weather events. Isolation is a pervasive problem, and many farmers live with constant financial insecurity. It is good for us to use this time of harvest celebrations to give thanks for the amazing contribution that our farmers make, and to pray for God’s blessing upon them.
But before anything else the harvest encourages us to look to God whose hand provides our food. Our heavily processed and cleverly packaged food will often give the impression that our food is man-made. But it isn’t! It comes to us from our loving creator who deserves our worship and thanksgiving.
QUESTION: How are you going to celebrate God’s gift of the harvest this year?
PRAYER: Thank you, loving God, for the gift of our food. We praise you for all those who work so hard to bring it to us. Amen
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