Harvest gifts

It’s easy in Derbyshire to see the fruits of the earth as harvest, and farmers and gardeners as heroes. And so they are. But let’s remember too that our minds have a harvest: stories, art, sculpture, music, well-dressings—craftsmanship of every kind. Harvest of the intellect and skills and effort. And tending the sick and injured, and teaching those who want to be taught—harvesting of souls and minds. Over the last few months at Barlow church we’ve acquired a beautiful new (to us) cope which you’ll see at funerals, a votive candle stand and thurible—harvest of embroiderer and metalworker. And now both church have seats, toys and a table for children to use at the back of church. This is preparing for a harvest, planting seeds for the future, without which the church is certain to fade away.

Harvest festivals were invented in the nineteenth century by a Cornish Vicar who wrote the Cornish ‘national’ anthem (A good sword and a trusty hand, a merry heart and true; King James’s men shall understand what Cornish lads can do …). He saw that church was largely irrelevant to the people, and used Harvest as a way of bringing them back together. Nothing much changes. Any ideas on connecting church and local community today?

Enjoy all the fruits of harvest. Enjoy life. Have trust. Have hope. And help your enemies to do likewise: this might involve showing them the truth.

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