Food for thought
This week’s reflection by Ros Hughes, leads on beautifully from last week’s harvest theme, as she muses on the connection between the plentiful supply of apples this year and our relationship with God.
‘Give me neither poverty nor riches.
Feed me with the food that is needful for me,
lest I be full and deny you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’
and profane the name of my God.’
or lest I be poor and steal.’
Proverbs 30: 8-9
‘Paid a rhoi tlodi na chyfoeth I mi.
Ond rho ddigon o fwyd I mi bob dydd.
Ie, cadw fi rhag teimlo fod popeth gen I,
ac yna dy wrthod di, a dweud, ‘Pwy ydy’r Arglwydd?’
A chadw fi rhag dwyn am fy mod yn dlawd,
a rhoi enw drwg I Dduw.’
Diarhebion 30: 8-9
Ros Hughes writes:
Wow! What a bumper harvest of apples we have had this year! Speaking to gardening friends and neighbours, many others have also had a good harvest with stores and freezers full of fruit and veg. The Covid pandemic has heightened our awareness this year of some of our basic needs, not least for food – the supply to our shops, the panic buying and empty shelves, the effort of workers from ‘farm to fork’ to keep us fed. ‘Harvest thanksgiving’ in church life may have felt rather different this year, but we are still so very thankful for our many blessings!
World Food Day is on 16th October and this is celebrated annually to commemorate the founding of the United Nations [UN] Food and Agriculture Organisation [FAO]. This year marks the 75th anniversary of this organisation which promotes worldwide awareness and action for those who suffer hunger and for the need to ensure healthy diets for all. Food – how important and essential it is for us all and what an important part it plays in all our lives. Sadly, we are aware of so much need and hunger in our world today. We see tragic images of hungry and starving children, famine and poverty in the media and we are also aware of needs around us as we collect for foodbanks and charities locally. All this, despite us knowing that the world produces enough to feed everyone. On the other hand, we are aware of the increasing problem of obesity, waste of food and poor environmental awareness in some food production methods. As Mahatma Gandhi put it: ‘The world has enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed.’ Somehow our food systems are out of balance. Somehow, we have got things wrong.
If we look at the wider picture of the world around us, does the warning given by the writer of Proverbs in our Bible passage today, written thousands of years ago, have any significance in our society and lives around us now? The writer appears to be saying that there needs to be a perfect balance in life between riches and poverty, excess and need. This certainly seems of relevance in our world and lives today. These words in Proverbs tell us that when the balance is not correct, both riches and poverty can both be an obstacle to our relationship with God.
I wonder, is that where we are going wrong?
When we reflect on our own lives: has there been a time when we have had more riches than we need? In that time of plenty, did the need for God become second place or even forgotten? Possibly, even a time when the desire for more wealth, or greater consumption became the focus of life? Or can we identify with the feeling of desperate worry about how to provide for our family?
If we just pause and think now on what ‘neither riches nor poverty’ means for our lives: what is ‘needful’ for us right now? We end with the prayer that Jesus taught us. A prayer that lays all before the one who knows our every need. The prayer that gives us every indication of the life we seek in him, lived in perfect balance.
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever.
Ein Tad, yr hwn wyt yn y nefoedd,
sancteiddier dy enw.
Deled dy deyrnas.
Gwneler dy ewyllys,
megis yn y nef, felly ar y ddaear hefyd.
Dyro i ni heddiw ein bara beunyddiol
A maddau i ni ein dyledion
fel y maddeuwn ninnau i’n dyledwyr.
Ac nac arwain ni i brofedigaeth, eithr gwared ni rhag drwg.
Canys eiddot ti yw’r deyrnas,
a’r nerth, a’r gogoniant yn oes oesoedd.
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Many thanks to everyone who has been praying for Conwy County since a local lockdown began here. The good news is that our services in church buildings can continue, because of robust safety measures we already have in place (including mask wearing and social distancing). Click here for details. We are also delighted that our Church Hall is providing a spacious venue for vital seasonal flu inoculations by Conwy GP practices.
Please contact the Ministry Team or Churchwardens for confidential pastoral support or practical help at this difficult time, and know that we will all get through this with God’s sustaining love.