PADRE’S PIECE – A message for Harvest time
A friend of mine has recently returned from to the UK after working on a project to provide safe clean water to communities in Ukerewe, a group of small Islands on Lake Victoria, Africa.
Listening to her experiences reminded me of how we take for granted safe, clean drinking water – at the turn of a tap! More to think on is how we readily, without thinking, use water e.g. water from the hot tap for washing, cool water from the fridge refreshing and central heating water to keep our houses and work environments warm in winter. We only notice when we feel great inconvenience when these systems have broken down and need repair.
Chaplaincy is involved in a toilet twinning project run by Cord and Tearfund. We are raising money towards enabling the provision of good sanitation in developing world communities, resulting in healthier communities free diseases caused through poor sanitation. Using the portoloo toilets at the Greenbelt festival at Cheltenham will remind me of how I take for granted our well furnished and equipped water closets and bathrooms.
We all take things for granted. We have expectations for things to happen and can be very disappointed if our expectations are not met. We expect the car to start and get us from a to b without breaking down, we expect the house hold appliances to function without fault, we make arrangements, plans and take leave to go places. When we are away deployed we expect what happens at home to continue without us. We commit our lives to our work, social clubs and more….but we can find ourselves disappointed, upset and disheartened and it takes us aback if these things break or falter, don’t turn out as we expect them to. We take much for granted.
Harvest time reminds me of rural life and ministry in that context. Farmers are well aware of not taking for granted the right amount of rain, sun and weather conditions for a successful crop. They prepare the fields, sow and plant crops and hope for the right conditions for good yields, they cannot take for granted a good yield. Yet visiting the supermarket for food, how disappointed are we if the product we went for is not on the shelf for our convenience?
Celebrating Harvest festival, giving thanks to God for the gathering-in of food, reminds me not to take all things for granted, indeed that as the Psalmist said ‘On God alone I wait silently’, as the farmer shows us to wait in ‘providential hope’ for time harvest, so can learn to ‘wait on God’ with our whole lives, not taking for granted all the ‘things’ around us, but giving thanks for what God has and is blessing us with. “The Lord has given, the Lord has taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord”
Blessing to you all this Harvest time.
Padre David Haslam
Harvest is a time to give thanks for God’s generous provision; for what has been ‘gathered in’, for all things we have received and acknowledgement of what we already have.
During the first week of October you are welcome to come to the station church and make a contribution to the ‘harvest gathering of gifts’. Please bring your gifts (packet or tinned food) and place them at the display in church. Alternatively you may bring them along with you to the service to which you are most welcome.
Our Harvest festival service will take place in the station church at 10.00 am on Sunday 7 October 12, during which the harvest gifts will be received.
Following the service the harvest gifts will be distributed for work amongst the homeless in Lincoln.