Beauty surrounds us, but we usually need to be walking in a garden to know it - Rumi
By now the harvest has been gathered in. We celebrated Harvest Festival last week at St Mary Magdalene. No doubt your church has done so or will be doing so shortly. Our Jewish friends celebrate Sukkot , the Festival of Ingathering on 8th October this year whilst other religions of the world will celebrate according to season. Wouldn't it be wonderful if all religions could come together for a day of thanksgiving for God's good harvest? Just one day would be a wonderful start.
Here in the northern hemisphere the leaves are beginning to change colour as they put on their beautiful red, gold and russet clothes for the final glorious autumn dance before the icy fingers of winter are felt. Then they will settle down to slumber. Yet how magnificent they look in that dance ! Meanwhile having fattened up on the food autumn provides many animals will hibernate whilst some of the birds will already have migrated to warmer climes. The harvest is gathered in, the birds and animals have eaten their fill and now all will be silent as if the whole world has died. Of course, death will come to us all but we know that the death of our earthly body is not the end. The death and resurrection of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour made sure of that.
The theme of death and resurrection occurs regularly in both Old and New Testament writings. Just think of Noah and the ark or Jonah and the whale for example. Of course, St Paul devotes much of chapter 15 of his first letter to the Corinthians to the subject. In verse 42 he says: What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. And as for what you sow, you do not sow the body that is to be, but a bare seed' Exactly so, for our farmers are already ploughing the fields to plant winter wheat seed to be harvested full grown around July next year. However St Paul goes on to say that: What is sown is perishable , what is raised is imperishable'1 Cor 15:42. I take heart from that and from his letter to the Romans where he says: I am certain of this, neither death nor life..... will be able to come between us and the love of God, known to us in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:38-39. How wonderfully reassuring is that?
Let us hold fast to that blessed assurance as we wonder at the glory of autumn's final dance .
Peter is a father and a grandfather who has been retired from full time employment for a number of years