This week, in various blog posts, I’ve referred to us celebrating harvest last weekend at Bellshill Salvation Army, but do you actually know what that means?
Here’s one definition I found:
Harvest Festival is a celebration of the food grown on the land. Harvest Festivals remind Christians of all the good things God gives them. This makes them want to share with others who are not so fortunate. In schools and in Churches, people bring food from home to a Harvest Festival Service. After the service, the food that has been put on display is usually made into parcels and given to people in need.
These days we don’t talk about “harvesting the crops” like they used to in the past, because we live in more urban communities where we rarely see crops let alone consider when they need to be harvested. However in the past, when the crops were gathered in. it was customary to give the best of the crops to God. The best crops are normally the first ones gathered.
Exodus 23:16 (NIV)
Celebrate the Feast of Harvest with the firstfruits of the crops you sow in your field.
So that’s what harvest festivals are all about. But what about us, what does God expect from us, His people, at harvest?
Well, as was mentioned in the definition above, it’s a chance for us to bring food to our harvest festival so that it can later be passed out to the needy in our communities. But it’s also much more than that, it’s a chance for us to say thank you to God again, for all He gives us each day.
We live in a world where we’re all so busy rushing around all the time that I suspect if you’re anything like me, you forget to say thank you to God for the all He provides for us. I’m not talking about all the complicated things in life, but the basics, things like food, water, a home, clothes, our education, our family and friends…and then theirs the world around us, the rivers, trees, flowers, plants, hills…
How many of those things I’ve just listed have you thanked God for recently?
Take time out this Harvest to just say “thank you” to God for all the things we have in life, the things that we so often take for granted.