From the Manse

Dear Friends,

Well, Summer appears to be drawing to a close and we enter the season of ‘mists and mellow fruitfulness’. After the intense heat of the Summer, some may welcome the cooler damper Autumn days. Autumn is also the season of the Harvest Festival. Increasingly, Harvest is not just a celebration of the produce of the farms but a celebration of all of God’s creation.

At Harvest we thank and praise God for all his gifts of food and weather, especially his plants that mature in Autumn and nourish us all year. Harvest is also an opportunity to give thanks and to praise God for all creatures that move in the waters, fly in the sky and live on the land.

Harvest reminds us that all earth’s creatures are a community created to praise and glorify God. Nature matures in Autumn even without human help. Wild creatures enjoy the fruits of the season. With human co-operation, however, nature glorifies God through cultivated fields, including grain and grapes that make bread and wine. Human hands and voices represent the whole earth community, in Christ, to God. The transformation of the earth at Harvest is a sign, the beginning, of the final transformation of all material creation in the resurrection, when God does not make a new thing but makes ‘all things new’.

In our Eco Festival at Streetly, we celebrate this great diversity of God’s creation, not just the produce of the farm. It is good to be reminded that we are part of God’s wider creation and not its master.

Psalm 65
You crown the year with your goodness,
and your paths overflow with plenty.
May the pastures of the wilderness flow with goodness,
and the hills be girded with joy.
May the meadows be clothed with flocks of sheep;
and the valleys stand so thick with corn
That they shall laugh and sing.

Grace and Peace to you

Alan