There is a move these days to encourage farmers to support wildlife by not farming right up to the corners and edges of their fields. By “cutting corners”, so to speak, they may save a little time and money; but they also leave space for creatures such as insects to flourish. As well as helping the natural environment, the farmers help themselves by safeguarding pollinating insects that many crops rely on.

Leaving field edges and corners is not a new idea. In the Old Testament, farmers were told not to harvest right up to the edge of their fields in order to allow poor folk to gather a share of the grain for themselves. The poor were even allowed to follow behind the harvest workers to pick up any produce that had been missed. We don’t quite do that these days, but the idea behind it is important: the poor were expected to take their share of the harvest. Times and systems change but it is right at harvest time to consider the poor, whether they be neighbours down the road or overseas, and to ask ourselves how we might share the harvest with them.

I do hope you manage to attend some part of the parish’s harvest celebrations. Harvest Festival services are good occasions to thank God for the food and other blessings we enjoy. Meanwhile, harvest supper is a great time to enjoy companionship with other people and to relish the food we share.

May we enjoy God’s blessings to us and may we be ready and willing to share them with others. Amen.

When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very edges of the field, or gather the gleanings of your harvest…
You shall leave them for poor people and for foreigners. (Leviticus chapter 19 verses 9-10)