When the Isley Brothers sang in 1976 ‘Harvest for the World’ it hit a nerve with many people. I am sure you know the words:
“All babies together, everyone a seed/Half of us are satisfied, half of us in need/Love's bountiful in us, tarnished by our greed/When will there be a harvest for the world?”
With its catchy soul funk melody, it has become one of those great social justice songs, which tunefully rants against the dark side of our humanity. Like it or not, the lyrics point to our inherent selfish, greedy nature; something the singer says stops our world from being a peaceful place to live in.
The dualistic battle of right and wrong/good and bad is a philosophical reality that every age and culture has had to deal with. You only need to read ancient Greek literature and the Bible to see that.
The best-known literary example of the inner conflict is probably Robert Louis Stevenson’s, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. At one point our tortured soul admits to himself, “If I am the chief of sinners, I am the chief of sufferers also.” There’s one for psychiatrists everywhere to get their heads around.
Now I feel in some way I can echo those words, as I have lost count how many wrong choices I have made in my life. One minute I do the right thing and the next minute I go and do something dumb, and suffer because of it.
Writing in his Christian culture, the Scottish author of this Victorian gothic classic said, “We have all got both light and dark in us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.”
Being in harmony with our world is going to take effort. I believe it means exercising all our intellectual, emotional and spiritual muscles to help us in our moral battle to do the right thing.
Jesus Christ, the founder of the world’s largest faith, and the guy I follow, said that he came into the world as complete, unadulterated light to expose darkness of men’s lives. The Bible remarks how there was not a single drop of selfishness, greed or any other form of human weakness to be found his entire being. That is quite something.
Today millions of people have found hope and direction for their lives by believing in his words. Like me, they recognise the potential to be total screw-ups when left to our own devices.
So how can we feel good about ourselves and our choices today? I’d like to offer a thought.
This is the season called Harvest. Traditionally, it’s a time when we celebrate the fruit of our labour. And as a country with a strong Christian heritage we tend to meet together to give thanks to God for nature’s provisions.
Nowadays, Harvest is becoming more of a time when churches, schools, and other voluntary organisations choose to celebrate it a bit differently, by giving food donations to foodbanks, such as our local one, Storehouse.
Storehouse has 37 Donation Collection Points in and around Sudbury who will gladly receive your donations.
You are welcome to donate at any of our Collection Points. We are particularly in need of tinned meals such as stew, curry, spaghetti bolognaise and ravioli, along with other items such as rice, tea/coffee, cereals and essential toiletries. All of the donations will be lovingly put together by our team of volunteers to give to local families and individuals in crisis.
Giving a food donation is a great way to celebrate Harvest and is something, I can say with confidence, which will bring more than a little bit of light into someone’s darkness. There is much need in our area, so a tin or two will make a big difference to restore hope and confidence.
If you would like to know more, you can drop us a line or ring the team on: 07973 710905. If you are a local organisation, school or business and would like to get involved, we’d love to come and meet you.
On a very personal note, I am immensely proud to be a part of our community. The recent tragic fire in Sudbury has shown all that is good in our town. It’s been truly humbling to see so much generosity and goodwill around. In many ways, it is a harvest of all that is good in our community.
St Paul the apostle knew a thing or two about these things when he said, “let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith.”
I, for one, am with him. Happy Harvest!