Revd Linda Whetter's Harvest Sermon, Sunday 3rd october 2021

Sermon Harvest Thanksgiving St Ladoca. 3rd Oct 2021

Deut. 26:1-11

Matt.6: 25-34

Harvest is one of my favourite occasions in the church calendar, and living in a farming community makes these services all the more significant too. It is a privilege to be able to take part in a service around those for whom their entire living is dependant on God’s promise of seedtime and harvest.   I have always felt fortunate living in Cornwall, surrounded by fishing and farming, and one thing I have learnt from all this exposure to fishing and farming is that it is a precarious way of life and quite frankly there are easier ways of making a living.  But it also helps me understand and appreciate better, some of the many pressures faced by the fishing and farming communities. A community that has a closer understanding of the mysteries of seedtime and harvest, the ups and downs of the seasons, and the ups and downs of life.

 

 Both our readings this morning give us an insight into, and an opportunity to ponder and give thanks to God, who within the mysteries of seedtime and harvest, walks alongside us throughout the seasons of the year and the seasons of our life. Living in such a beautiful rural area, it would be difficult not to notice the way nature decorates the countryside, a reminder that we are to be thankful for God’s gifts to us. However, it would be difficult not to think about harvest here in Ladock, being surrounded by farmland in particular acting as a reminder that we owe a huge debt of gratitude, not only to God, but to the farmers who are taken for granted by most of us, who have become emotionally and practically detached from the source of our food.

 

Today is the day we can reflect on our relationship to food and the land, as the God given source of our well-being and praise God from whom all blessings flow, because, God does indeed give us abundant reason to be grateful. The reading from Matthew’s Gospel reminds us that we are to be thankful people and must not worry. However, that is much easier said than done. Thankfulness and gratitude can at times be hard to aspire to. We may wish not to worry, we may wish to be thankful in all things, we may long to show gratitude for the blessings we have received, but thankfulness and gratitude may at times be beyond our reach or slip from our grasp. I am sure that there is not a single one amongst us who will not know or have experienced significant disappointment and reason to worry for ourselves or those we care about, or what we hear on the news, at some point in our lives and probably right now for many of us.

 

It seems to me that acknowledging our disappointments and worries is at the heart of leading a life of thankfulness and gratitude. It is not that we need to be, or indeed should be thankful for such things. Instead, we need to recognise that we are human and painful, difficult times in our lives and those we   care about, will never be the last word for us, because God has the last word, and His word is hope.

 

So, as we give thanks for all that God gives us, for the fruits of the earth and the work of human hands. My prayer for each one of you, is, whatever season of your life you are growing through right now, whether flourishing, or doubts and difficulties emerging, or worries growing like weeds. May God give each one of you the blessing you need.

 

Amen.

 

 


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