September is so named because it used to be the seventh month of the year. The full moon during this month is known as the Harvest Moon. Harvest, like Easter, is a moveable feast. It should be the nearest Sunday to the Harvest Moon, which is the full moon after the Autumn equinox (21st September). Harvest is normally in September, however, on occasion falls into October. It is a major festival after Easter and Christmas and one that I have grown to really enjoy. If we have a Harvest Festival this year, I will use the traditional Victorian hymns because I find they bring us comfort as we remember singing them when younger.
The produce we bring to the Harvest table will go to Mill Grove and we use the stories in the Bible and the words of the hymns to acknowledge our dependence on God and give Him thanks for providing us with food. As we sing the words of the old hymns, we must also acknowledge that farming and agriculture is no longer as it once was since technology has changed and developed. We must also recognise our dependence on one another, especially farmers and fishermen plus all those that work in the food industry.
Our Harvest services often focus on those less fortunate than ourselves by highlighting the plight of 750 million people who do not have enough to eat. I like the fact that it is a fun service and that we can get the message over of a God who offers abundant love and that we can be a part of that love in our giving and offering. I also like the fact that it ties us in with our Jewish heritage with the feast of Pentecost and the feast of Sukkot. It, therefore, reminds us of our traditions and the importance of routine and ritual in a world that is moving ever more quickly. I hope you will enjoy the Harvest time, whatever way we celebrate it this year, as much as I do.
Here is a fun game.
How many words you can make using these seven letters? If you can beat 67, you will have done well.
Bonus points if you can make a better sentence only using the letters from HARVEST than I (by which I mean Hazel) have made: HAVE A HEART, SHARE: SAVE THE STARVER.
Take care and God bless,
Fun Fact: Four Roman Emperors are mentioned in the New Testament: Augustus (63 BC-AD 14), Tiberius (47 BC-AD 37), Claudius (10 BC-AD 54) and Nero (AD 37-68)
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Rev'd Martin Wheadon