Sunday is a strange day. Especially for me! Depending on what priests are sick or on holidays or what parishes have no priests at all, I can be in a number of different places to say Mass. Calls for cover have been few and far between over the last few weeks, and the few times that I have been asked I have been unable to oblige. So this morning, I was able again to concelebrate with Fr Graham at St Mary's. It was their Harvest Thanksgiving and in the centre of a small yet effective Harvest display was, as could be expected from a parish with a Real Ale loving priest, a can of Old Speckled Hen!
I'm not sure what happens to the children's harvest gifts presented at the altar at St Mary's. When I was young, they were sorted and delivered to the elderly and housebound, and I'm wondering now if that little can went anywhere or if it was just loaned for display purposes only! A few years ago Fr Graham wrote to Brains' Brewery, which is just down the road, to ask them if they would like to contribute some gifts to their Harvest display, since it was part of the local industry and production, something to be thankful for! Alas, for Fr Graham, there was no reply! Maybe, of course, they were too busy at the time sealing the deal on sponsoring the Welsh Rugby Team which, after their exit from the Rugby World Cup yesterday, is probably not the thing to mention! The coach, Gareth Jenkins, is now looking for a new job, after being given the elbow by the WRU and becoming the symbolic scapegoat for those who feel the faint lull of failure. Have a can, Gareth! The rest of us are!
Meanwhile, it got me thinking about what I would put in the centre of a Harvest Display. What symbolic gesture would I make? Not a run of the mill, we plough the fields and scatter Harvest Display but a thanksgiving for your own personal harvest. Not one of fruit or veg or tins of beans or flowers, salt and water. What if you had to make a Harvest display of your own life, or just the last year, thanking God for the fruits that have been produced? What would I have to show? It's a sobering thought!