During the past week there have been three reminders of harvest – the collect and readings at the St Margaret’s service on 4 October; Eddie’s pastoral letter of 7 October; the on-line and in-church Methodist services on 11 October – all tying in nicely with the fact that last week’s Feast of Saint Michael and All Angels on 29 September traditionally marks the end of the harvest, with a chance to make merry before the autumn really sets in.
We haven’t been able to have our traditional Harvest celebration this year, so it was a pleasure to be able to join the on-line congregation for the annual Haddo Harvest Festival service which was part of the Haddo Arts Festival, this year a totally virtual event. In giving thanks for the harvest safely in we were reminded how shortages during lockdown had made us all more acutely aware of, and therefore hopefullymore grateful for, those who provide for our daily needs.
In his homily, Canon Michael Hutson of St Andrew’s, Rothesay, Isle of Bute referred to the beautiful responsorial version of Psalm 79 that had been sung. “We and this world are the Lord’s vineyard; he has given it to us, but it is ravaged and destroyed, and so in the psalm we ask that the Lord will visit us again and restore what was always intended before we messed it up. It’s as if God is reminding us that we are meant to be custodians of the earth, not masters of the creation he handed on to us. But even in this psalm we see that all is not lost, because his help will enable us to share what we have begun to mess up.”
If you want to know the reason for our selection of a bowls of conkers and a sheaf of wheat, you’ll have to listen to the rest of the homily …