The Rector Writes – Autumn & Harvest; Presidential election

After a long good summer we are now having to adjust to more seasonal autumnal conditions.  However, autumn brings with it what has often been described as the ‘fruitful’ time of the year.  It is therefore no accident that we hold a special Service of thanksgiving for fruitfulness each October.  This year our Harvest Thanksgiving Service will be held on Sunday 14th October at 10:30am.  It is true that the origins of this Service go back to a time when the vast majority of people relied directly on the land for their livelihoods and survival.  Nevertheless, even in contemporary society, it is still right and proper that we give thanks for ‘harvest’.  The Collins Dictionary offers the following as a definition for harvest: ‘the product of an effort or action’.  Taking this definition to heart should enable the majority of people to join in a sense of thanksgiving to God for all that has come to ‘fruition’ from their efforts and actions.

As I write, the Irish presidential election campaign is getting into full swing.  Unfortunately, if we look to the recent past, these campaigns have been less than edifying with a great deal of acrimony, mudslinging and point scoring.  This is a reflection of today’s society that does not illustrate much Christian values.  We would do well to remember that Jesus taught his disciples; ‘You have heard that it was said, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well;’ (Matthew 5:38-40).  I hope and pray that this campaign will be dignified and considerate, addressing substantive and relevant issues without descending to undignified  personal character assassinations.

With every blessing,


Rev. John Tanner, Rector.

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