Friday, September 27, 2019

Thank God for Harvest!

A big local event is the Frome Cheese and Agricultural Show. We went along the other Saturday. Yes, I know it’s a Somerset thing, but there were no doubt quite a few people from our part of Wiltshire there too. We enjoyed the showcase events including show jumping, falconry, stunt shows and racing pigs. What’s not to like? We also were impressed by the prize livestock on display; cows, goats, sheep and chickens. The main attraction is, of course, the cheese. There were countless varieties on offer, with plentiful free samples to tickle the taste buds. We even bought some.

Living in our part of the world we never too far away from fields and meadows boasting crops and livestock. Attending an agricultural show is a reminder of all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes.  We may sometimes take for granted that the food we buy in shops is there for us to eat because of the hard work of the farming community. Good on them.

The agricultural year follows the annual round of the seasons. In the Bible God promised, “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.” The Lord has kept his word. Each year the earth produces enough food for people all around the world. If some are left hungry that is often because of man’s cruelty and folly. Countries like ours have more than enough to go around. In fact, our challenge is to cut down on food waste. But even in a wealthy land like the UK some people are dependent on food banks.  That is an indictment on our society, but it is also an opportunity for us to share what we have with others.

The friends at Crosspoint, Westbury tell me that they often receive especially generous donations of food at Harvest Time. Many churches hold Harvest Festivals and take in donations of produce and tinned goods that are then deposited at the local food bank for those who need it. That is only fitting. The food we eat is a gift to us from our faithful Creator. As Paul testified in the Bible, God  “did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.” Should we not, then thank God for harvest and seek to ensure that no one in our community has to go without?

A centrepiece at Harvest Festivals is often the Wheat Sheaf Loaf. The loaf reminds us that God gives us each day our daily bread, and much more besides. But there is something even more important than food. Jesus urges us, “Do not labour for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you.” He spoke of himself saying,  “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live for ever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” Jesus came to die for our sins and rise again that through faith in him we might have eternal life and find true satisfaction, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.”

Harvest Services

Providence Baptist Church, Dilton Marsh, Westbury 
Sunday 6 October All Age Harvest ‘Explore Service’, 10.30am, Evening Harvest Service, 6.00pm
Join us in thanking God for Harvest. 
Display of produce. 
Food donations will be divided between the Westbury Food Bank 
and Leonora Pilgrim Home for the elderly Christians, Chippenham

Ebenezer Baptist Church, West Lavington 
Sunday 6 October Harvest Service, 4.30pm
Join us in thanking God for Harvest. 
Display of produce. 
Food donations will be divided between the Devizes Food Bank 
and Leonora Pilgrim Home for the elderly Christians, Chippenham

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