Pause for Thought October 2016

When I was a small child my mother always told me that eating crusts would make my hair curly (it never did!).But often I couldn’t wait for the crispy taste of that delicious smelling loaf as it came from the oven. Mum always waited until I had taken my first bite and then she would ask: ‘and what do you say now?’ As my mouth was now full of crunchy crust I started to mumble and quickly came the response: ‘Don’t talk with your mouth full!’

Please and thank you are probably among the first things we learn to say as children and Harvest time is a special time for thanksgiving. Thank you for someone who has ploughed the fields, scattered the seeds on the ground, so that it can be fed and watered by the rain, then covered with snow before the Spring warmth and breezes bring all to growth……..when it is then cut, bagged and sent to the supermarkets where we buy the crops in their plastic wrappers.

Our Harvest Festivals are an opportunity to celebrate all that God provides. The cycle of life in the natural world is one of nature’s miracles. We too easily take all this for granted until floods or drought or earthquakes or a war remind us that food supplies can be uncertain in many parts of the world. So we bring our gifts to church that they can be passed on to those who are in need. This year the food collection in all our churches and from Barnack School will go to Peterborough Food Bank, where, on our doorsteps there is much need.

Many of our Harvest hymns, however, remind us that food is not the only harvest; that God longs for his people to come to him. There is a prayer that we sometimes use in our Communion Services that echoes the wider meaning of Harvest:

‘Look with favour on your people, gather us in your loving arms and bring us with all your saints to feast at your table in heaven.’ 
Do come and celebrate this very special time of year.