“The land has produced its harvest”.
Ps 67:6 GNB
The world has become far more aware of humanity’s dependence on nature in the last few decades. Two things have caused this. One is the mounting problem of pollution and that includes the threat of plastic waste. One must hope that scientists can work out some new way of recycling the vast tons of plastic that are causing damage to marine life. The second trend that is posing a huge problem is the danger of climate change with many far-reaching ramifications to plant and animal life this poses.
But nature as God has designed it is a marvellous ecology of interdependent forces, plants, weather, land, sea and animals. The ancient Hebrews were much less inclined to worship God as the provider of nature than they were to extol his actions in the history of his people. But they knew that he was the great provider, that his provision of fertile soil, sun and rain ensured the continued life of man and of animals. Ultimately the harvests that farmers reaped came from God’s almighty hand. And equally so the harvests were his gift to provide humans with health and prosperi- ty. All three of the great national thanksgiving festivals in the Jewish calendar had a reference to nature as well as the historical significance that became attached to them – Passover, Pentecost and the later Feast of Tabernacles.
Christians, most of them living in cities far removed from the agricultural world, do well to make a point of emphasizing and celebrating “God’s good gifts around us”. Several of Christ’s parables came from farming models and serve to remind us to anchor our lives in the natural world, always giving thanks to God – as well as the supermarket.
Lord, thank you for all the abundant provision of nature.
PRAYER OF INTERCESSION
Lord, I pray for those post-graduate students who are embarking on research projects with a view to obtaining doctoral level qualifications. Give them tenacity and patience and wise guides. Direct them to valuable research material. I ask it in Jesus Christ’s name. AMEN