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Harvest 2015

Chanterelle, Morel, Oyster, Shaggy Ink Cap, The Charcoal Burner, The deceiver, Chicken of the Woods, Slippery Jack, are just a few of the edible mushrooms to be found in woods and fields at this time of year. Frances, meanwhile found a bush of wild plum like fruits which she has turned into jam, the blackberries have been in tarts, cooking apples are appearing, I have a pile of onions to pickle and I have an inkling that there is something that you can do with sloes. Even better by the sea shore in addition there are many wild and natural things to harvest, mussels, samphire which by the way when young and tender and crisp goes beautifully with soft ravioli. Godís gifts to us are abundant and I welcome the resurgence in eating in tune with the seasons and making use of locally available produce, simply trying to be more in harmony with creation and the world around us.

ďDo not fear you animals of the field for the pastures of the wilderness are green the tree bears its fruit, the fig tree and the vine give their full yield. ď

We have over time become a little narrow in our cultivation . for example in China in 1949 there were more than 10,000 wheat species cultivated but by 1970 this had fallen back to less than 1000. we have been ruthless and profligate in exploiting the fish of the sea,; the cod were once so numerous that you could wade through the shoals and there are photographs of Newfoundland men grasping them in their hands and putting them in buckets. Last week there was the news that for the first time the long dwindling stocks were recorded as replenishing.

ďGod our father, we are sorry for the times when we have used your gifts carelessly and ungratefully.Ē

Yet despite our ignoring many of the wonderful things around us ,despite our over fishing, over cultivation and over hunting of those things we have noticed God keeps on giving. Some of you may have seen again in the news this week the developments from Moorfields eye hospital . Using stem cells from a human embryo doctors and surgeons are researching and working to bring relief to those who suffer from macromolecular degeneration. Now I do not want to think too hard about how these cells are put into the eye (In general I am of the view that the things outside my body should stay outside it - equally the things inside should stay inside). Nevertheless they are put in and are expected to develop, grow and replace the lost cells restoring vision. What an amazing GIFT this is.

Not human manufacture, not a prosthesis but intelligence and innovation using life itself to cure and heal. Godís gifts to us include our ability to see, touch, taste, smell and be part of the created world and has given us the capability to deeply understand it and to use it to help us. We receive these things with thanks, and celebrate today the rich harvests, from mushrooms to stem cells and we pray that we may use ALL of them to Godís glory and for the purposes that they were given.

Through Jesus Christ Our Lord,

Amen

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