Harvest is often celebrated on this, the first Sunday of October, though the UK grain harvest began early this year following the heatwave of June and July. How do you celebrate harvest?

I recall, as a child, having harvest festival at school and at church. A vast and colourful display of fruit and vegetables would be arranged beautifully at the front of the school hall or church sanctuary. A loaf of bread in the shape of a sheaf of wheat would take pride of place in the centre. When my children were small, we would rub apples from the garden until their skins shone, and take them to the harvest festival, thankful for God’s provision.

‘Harvest’ is good for making different words from its letters. And some of them have harvest connotations: tea, eats, have, share, earth… All very positive. But the word ‘starve’ is also there. For those of us who have plenty, it does well, in our thankfulness, to also remember the estimated 815,000,000 people worldwide who are malnourished.

God created a magnificent world of landscapes, plants and creatures and appointed human beings to be stewards of his world. When we’re tempted to think that planet earth is our world, we do well to remember whose it really is – God’s – and to honour him by taking seriously the privilege and responsibility he has given us. How good are we at sharing what we have and working for the good of all for God’s sake?

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