The weather! We’re always talking about it but, unpredictable as it may be here, it’s nothing to the impact it has in some parts of the world. There have just been devastating hurricanes in the Caribbean and USA, and before that there were terrible floods in India and Bangladesh that killed over 1,200 people. Compared to that we have absolutely nothing to complain about.
But of course the weather still does make a difference to our farmers and all those involved in food production. Thankfully nowadays a poor harvest doesn’t mean rocketing bread prices and people going hungry, though it used to be that way. We still thank God for our food, for harvests, for the fact that we have plenty to eat – ultimately we are still dependent on God’s good earth for our food.
Jesus said that God “causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends the rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matthew 5). In other words, we don’t deserve any special blessing, and we certainly shouldn’t look down on those who are less fortunate as if it were in some way their fault. (Actually we now know that it’s probably more our fault for messing up the world’s weather.)
So Harvest is a time to say a special “Thank You!” for all that we enjoy and to show our gratitude by sharing with others. We can do that here by giving food items to a local Food Bank, and in our church we do so internationally by supporting the church in Kagera, Tanzania.
“Give us today our daily bread” may not seem a huge request for us when the shops are always full of food. But if we think of “us” as meaning all the people in the world then it’s a different matter – and a personal challenge. There is more than enough food in the world if only we shared it around more equally. The question isn’t “Why does God allow people to go hungry?” but “Why does he still allow us to do little about it?” What are you doing about it?