|Symbols of life and harvest|
Just in time I remembered to rush into the damp garden to lift some potatoes, pull a stalk of rhubarb and pick two runner beans and an apple. Anyone who has ever conducted a school assembly for under 10's will recognise the visual aids for Harvest Festival.
So we considered the fruits of our labours and the soil, water and sunlight that are needed for successful growth. We thanked God for life and growth as we thought of our own potential and development. The story of Jesus' feeding the five thousand reminded us to share what we have. So I took the harvest loaf from the altar, broke it in large pieces and handed these to the children to share. The whole school ate with delight before we said the Lord's Prayer ("Give us this day our daily bread") and set out with a Blessing. At the door one boy said "I really liked that bread." "Well remember to tell Jason's father [the village baker]."
Afterwards I bumped into one of my Churchwardens from twenty miles up the valley, which gave us a good opportunity to go into the cafe for a cup of coffee and a chat. Returning to the church to tidy up, I found two visitors from Scotland who were appreciating the calm, warm and friendly atmosphere of the lived-in church. (Perhaps it was the breadcrumbs.) They politely accepted my offer of a mouthful of left-over harvest loaf!
In the afternoon and evening I met different couples preparing for marriage. As always these were very enjoyable discussions of a vast range of topics relating to what we hope will be their next fifty years together, their launching on married life all being focused on their respective wedding days.