You never know, but one thing you could write in an exam situation is something different. Three years ago now, there was a radio script. There is nothing stopping them adding in a meditation of sorts, which on the surface of it, seems like a nightmare, but panic not dear brethren, it is an easy enough task, given that they will give you the title etc.
Here is an example trying to be as creative as possible and based on the theme of “Harvest.”
Harvest Of What?
We plough the fields and scatter, the good seed on the land. Well, not us. Not for some time either. We don’t get our hands dirty, preferring instead to buy pre-packaged, pre – washed, pre- prepared everything, from sliced white bread to ready chopped carrots.
Never mind that our choices are flown half way across the world. We like quality. And, on occasion, we’ll even pay for it.
Harvest is something we’re prepared to leave to others. The physical harvest – Is someone else’s worry. If the weather’s bad. If crops fail. We’ll simply shop elsewhere, move on, pay more. We certainly won’t starve. We have not been that close to the land for a long time now. It’s nothing new, to reflect modern life, contemporary culture.
Perhaps our harvest celebration needs to be revamped? Perhaps it needs to reflect our experience. Of work and toil, our experience, of sweat and tears. Isn’t harvest about celebrating our gift, our skills, all that God has given us to make life good?
Isn’t it about giving thanks for the comparative luxury we know and that we protect at all costs. That’s so far removed from work on the land so can’t we find another way to celebrate? We plough the fields and scatter? Not us, not any more.
Come, ye thankful people come, raise the strain of harvest home. Oh yes. It’s good to give thanks once a year; thanks for all those little luxuries, thanks for God’s blessings. Once a year it’s good to give thanks.
For the Lord our God shall come and shall take his harvest home. Now that’s sounding a different note. God harvesting people. But we won’t worry too much about that. We’re simply here to give our thanks for now. Don’t need to worry about the future at harvest. We’ll just celebrate the present and leave the future to God. That’s part of harvest too, isn’t it, that God takes care of the future?
Come, ye thankful people come, raise the strain of harvest home… Moving on:
For the fruits of all creation, thanks be to God. We’ll celebrate all that we can see around us. We’ll congratulate ourselves on being so well off that we can sing heartily the words: In our world wide task of caring, God’s will is done. In the harvest we are sharing God’s will is done. Yet, to make our words ring true today we have to see beyond our shiny colourful display of fruit, to the responsibility that God places on each of us, to make the kind of harvest we celebrate; alive with meaning for the world, alive with meaning for those who’ll sleep rough tonight, alive with meaning for those who will go to bed hungry, alive with meaning for the poor all around us and, yes alive with meaning in Iraq and Afghanistan, in Sumatra and Zimbabwe, in all the hovels where God’s children are to be found; to know that our world is not as God intended, that in creation there is more than enough to go around, if we could only share.
And so, in our plenty, it’s not that we should waste time on feeling guilty but that we should turn God’s goodness to us into a call to serve the world by our sharing. Our God, who stretched out the heavens and created everything in wisdom relies on us to care and gives us what we need to do, just that, and so we will take our fruit this morning, symbol of all the goodness of God.
We will take our fruit, symbol of the power of God. We will take our fruit, symbol of the call of God, we will give thanks and we will share from our place of plenty. We will give thanks to the God of the harvest and we will share God’s food for God’s world.