It seems to me that humans have been created with an innate desire to harvest. In the summer, while going for a walk with our kids, if we find a raspberry patch or a blueberry patch it’s basically impossible for our family to walk by without harvesting at least a few handfuls (usually it’s more than a few handfuls), and that drive to harvest berries has very little to do with how hungry we are at that moment. We’ll stop to pick berries whether we’re hungry or not.
I see the very same impulse to harvest among the kids in the Hampton Community Garden. Without question the highlight of the Kid’s in the Garden summer program is harvest time. The kids are never so eager to work in the garden as when they are told that it’s time to harvest.
Thanksgiving, traditionally, was of course a time for celebrating the harvest. For traditional farming communities the harvest was and remains the most important time of the year because it was a kind of reckoning. A good crop would be cause for great celebration and thanksgiving; a bad crop could be the source of real worry and for many a source of motivation to trust in God’s goodness and provision all the more. It’s not hard to see in all of this why for so many years harvest time and Thanksgiving had such an important spiritual significance.
But with fewer and fewer of us being directly connected with the realities of farming, though they nevertheless continue to feed us, I think more and more of us are left wondering what it is exactly that we are thankful for at this time of year.
In our gospel reading this Sunday we are going to hear Jesus urge the people not to “work for food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you” (John 6:27). He’s urging his hearers, in other words, to focus on the harvest that will truly satisfy and sustain them, and for which they can be truly grateful no matter what.
I hope you can join us this Sunday at 10 am for our combined Parish Family Thanksgiving Service as we celebrate all that we have to be thankful for and explore what it means to work for the harvest that will truly satisfy and sustain us.
No Youth Groups this Thanksgiving weekend.
Our Elementary and Middle school groups will continue on Oct.17th in Bloomfield.
And our High school Alpha series will launch on Sunday Oct.16th here at St. Paul’s. I can’t wait!
Any questions or concerns feel free to contact me at 639-2026.