I love this picture by Jean-Francois Millet – titled “Ruth and Boaz – the Harvesters resting” The workers sitting round, enjoying food and drink, after a hard day working in the fields. Millet has done some great paintings of farm workers [The Angelus, The Gleaners, and many others] Pastoral scenes bathed in golden sunlight…
Today is our Harvest Thanksgiving at church, tomorrow is the Harvest Supper. But times have changed- no sheaves of corn round the preacher’s seat, or marrows on the stair as beloved by Betjeman. The church has been beautifully decorated with flowers, but we will be collecting not marrows and bags of apples – but canned goods and cash. The money is to go to a Baptist World Mission project in Nepal, and the cans and packets to a local FoodBank. The Ferndown branch of Wilko** has kindly lent us a couple of shopping trolleys to put the food in.
Maybe our lives are less connected to the way our food is produced these days – fridges and freezers, ready-meals and takeaways instead of fresh veg bought at the market, or free range eggs from the farm gate. But it is still good for us the be grateful for our food, and remember [and do something practical for] those who will go hungry in our world.
We thank Thee, then, O Father, for all things bright and good,
The seed time and the harvest, our life, our health, and food;
Accept the gifts we offer, for all Thy love imparts,
But what Thou most desirest, our humble, thankful hearts
**I did feel a bit daft pushing two empty trolleys through the town from the shop to the church – one elderly lady asked where I was going. When I explained she said “Oh - I thought you might be going to rob a bank!”