I am writing this at Harvest time, most of the cereal crops have been gathered in. The apple harvest is under way and there are bales of hay in the fields waiting to be stacked and stored for the winter to come. It is traditional in our villages to celebrate the harvest with a harvest festival in church. Harvest festivals are a time to give thanks; to be thankful for the food that the earth has provided and the beauty of God’s creation.
Today, for most of us, food comes already picked and packed from a supermarket or the delivery van, not from our own fields or allotments, so perhaps it’s even more important now to remember that all our food comes from God’s creation, and to thank God and everyone who works so hard to grow, harvest and prepare our food for us, so we gather in church to say thank you. (You can find details of harvest festivals on our website www.draycotegroup.org). As a sign of our thankfulness, we also bring gifts to church to be distributed to those less fortunate than ourselves. We give all the tinned and dry produce that is donated to the Rugby Foodbank, which provides a lifeline for many in our area.
Thanking God and those who grow and prepare our food can help us remember to be grateful for the other good things in life. Sometimes, especially if we have had a hard day, it is helpful to finish each day by thinking hard about the little things that have made the day bearable. The person who smiled at you in the shop or on the bus. The unexpected phone call or text message from a friend. A beautiful sunrise or sunset, or maybe just the fact that we have a home to go to and food on the table. Those little things can make all the difference. Perhaps, remembering to give thanks for those little things might encourage us to share those gifts with other. And one smile, telephone or text, one moment of bathing in the glory of creation shared with others will be a harvest in which we can all share.
I’d just like to finish by giving thanks for you all. Thank you for your love, friendship, prayers and company for the last three years. It has been a great pleasure and privilege to be your Rector and I will always have a special place in my heart that is forever Draycote.
God bless you and keep you, may God’s face shine upon you and be gracious to you, and may God grant you peace.
Love and prayers