We are in the middle of the Harvest Festival season, and I am reminded of the story of a man who had a dream about heaven and hell.
In his dream he visited both places, and was amazed that what first struck him most were the similarities: heaven and hell were basically exactly the same, with tables loaded with beautiful food. However, he also noticed that it was strange that everybody sat too far from the tables to be able to use their hands to eat. In addition, the people’s knives and forks had enormously long handles the size of broom sticks.
In his dream, the people in hell were trying desperately to feed themselves, but the enormous knives and forks prevented them from getting any food into their mouths, and so they all looked frustrated, hungry, and miserable.
But in heaven, nobody tried to feed themselves with the enormous knives and forks; instead, they all used the long implements to feed each other, and the result was that everyone was well-fed and happy.
There is enough food in our world for every single person to have sufficient, and we have, of course, the ability and know-how to make that happen, and yet we don’t.....We haven’t the will, just like many resent our overseas aid budget. It is the duty of every Christian to share with those who don’t have enough, and to put pressure on those in authority to ensure that we as a country are generous towards those who have so much less.
So a harvest festival is not just about being thankful for what we have, but also about remembering those who are less fortunate.
From the Rev Jeremy Green, Vicar of Haxey and Owston Ferry