Dear Friends:

Many of you were able to join our Harvest services, and the associated Harvest Supper in the weekend of Friday 29 September to Sunday 1 October.

One theme I suggested was built around the colour green, and the value of green spaces and green countryside. Most of us probably find green to be a very restful and reassuring colour. It perhaps reminds us of our primeval connections with nature. Some studies have suggested that patients in hospital may recover faster in green surroundings or where they can view green foliage. People who are mentally distressed may find peace in green open space.

There was a lot of green in our harvest displays (and thanks of course to all who decorated our church so beautifully). In fact green is the most common harvest colour – even if the yellows and reds catch the eye (itself a salutary reminder that green is too easily taken for granted).

Did Jesus preach about the colour green? Probably not directly, but much of the imagery he used was to do with cultivation of plants, and was set against an Old Testament background which presumed green to be good:

“..to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food” Genesis 1:30

“Along the bank of the river, on this side and that, will grow all kinds of trees used for food; their leaves will not wither, and their fruit will not fail.” Ezekiel 47:12

The 23rd Psalm tells us that the Shepherd will guide the sheep into green pastures. When Jesus fed the 5000 he made them sit on the green grass – surely not a mere coincidence.

So while these days there is a tendency to widen the appeal of Harvest by reference to the “harvest” of commerce and industry, sometimes it is good to remember the old fashioned blessings of the green harvest – the countryside, farms, green spaces, woods, parks, even the threatened green belt.

Philip