Harvest Home 2018
Dear Parish Family,
Harvest Home, like so many pastoral focused celebrations, no longer holds the meaning it once did. Thanksgiving, an American celebration we adopted, has overshadowed it. In some respects, for me, this is like reading the last chapter of a book. Yes, you get the author’s point but lose out on how the author got there. Giving thanks is certainly what we are being invited/called to do but for what specifically? The celebration of Harvest Home details that out.
Giving thanks for the Harvest. For most of us that doesn’t connect with our lives. Some may have a small garden but nothing our lives depend on for survival. The Harvest celebration was giving thanks for the results of months of hard work. The soil had to be prepared, seeds were planted, the growth process was watched carefully and then the harvest took place. Shared work over time. Working together knowing that much of the process was out of their control but, with hope and using best practices, there would be a harvest at the end for all to share. There are so many examples of Christ using this process to describe the spiritual life (individual and corporate) that one could spend days just using the word “harvest” as a study guide. The point being, you can individualise and generalise Thanksgiving while harvest reminds us that we are a community called to work together in hope and celebration of the journey of faith.
Similarly, using the term “home” reminds us that we are called to come together as family. As the family of God, we work together and celebrate together. Home is that place where you can rest, relax and be accepted as family. Accepted for who you are and how you make the family whole. You see so many of those signs “Home is where …..” So many of them refer to those things which bind us together. Home takes the designation “community” and makes it personal – “family.” The family of God is a family by choice. A family based on God’s call and our response in faith. As stated above, a family which works together for the Glory of God.
Therefore, for me, Harvest Home is Thanksgiving plus. Not just giving thanks for the end result, one weekend a year, but for the whole process which brings us together as the family of God. Celebrate the process. Celebrate the work we do together for the Kingdom of God. Celebrate the hope and faith which binds us together as the Family of God. Celebrate the work of God’s hands in our lives and may we ever be thankful.
God bless you always.
The Reverend Canon David Warren