Things have changed a great deal since the “good old days” and a lot for the better, for example small growers around the world have been able to export their local products like Bananas to support their families, even if at times the western countries exploit these people the market has been important for their survival and Fair Trade is now more widely used due to consumer pressure.
So what do the children of today make of Harvest festival? By the time we celebrate Harvest the combine harvesters have gone from the fields and the harvest is over.
Back in the summer the lawn died off and cracks appeared in the garden it made me contemplate, we’ve all seen those horrific television pictures of the problems some countries have had with a total lack of rain. In some cases the seed hasn’t even managed to germinate, let alone get anywhere near ripening. What celebrations there must be in such countries when conditions are favorable and sufficient crop is harvested to ensure that the family will not go hungry through the winter months. For in countries such as these, there is little chance of a shortfall being made up for by imported produce - other than charitable aid which might come after the peoples’ plight has reached the eyes and ears of the world’s media.
The harvest festival that has been handed down by the established church from its pagan past, seems to have no relevance to our modern world. In the bible all were occasions of joy and celebration reflecting on all the good things that God had given to and done for his people, as well as times where the people could come close to their God and ask for forgiveness and cleansing.
Today we give thanks at harvest time for all our needs that God meets on a daily basis
Jesus taught us to pray “Give us today our daily bread” meaning All we need physically and spiritually.
So this Harvest time give thanks to God, that through Jesus he provides us with all we need spiritually and help us to give some of our excess “stuff” for those less fortunate.
Exodus 23:16 Celebrate the Festival of Harvest with the firstfruits of the crops you sow in your field.
Celebrate the Festival of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you gather in your crops from the field.
When I was a Child my Father and Grandfathers all grew fruit and vegetables in the garden, my mother would pick the fruit and make jams, chutneys, salt vegetables and bottle fruit, the latter I really did not like eating, but was not allowed to leave the table until I had swallowed the last bottled plum in my dish as it was full of vitamins, but it tasted awful to me!
Everything had its season and everyone looked forward to the Strawberry season or the new potatoes . This seasonality in the food that we ate meant that each season held its own delights.