Rejoice in the Lord always

Rejoice in the Lord always.

~Phillipians 4:4a~

Ever wonder about the history of the harvest festival? Traditionally harvest was celebrated in church on August 1 to mark the beginning of harvest. It was called Lammas (loaf mass) because of the fresh loaves from new wheat that were presented to the church. Henry VIII abolished this custom. The last day of harvest was September 29, or Michaelmas Day (named after the angel Michael who cast Satan from heaven [Rev 12:7]). Michaelmas used to be a “term” holiday for schools! In the end it was the close of harvest, and not the beginning, that came to be celebrated as harvest the first Sunday in October.

Harvest is a time of rejoicing and of thanking the Lord for the good gifts He has blessed us with (itself a custom falling by the wayside). In the olden days a good harvest was reason to be thankful as it meant food for another year. Today, harvest is an occasion to give thanks for much more than just the harvest and the wonder of creation. We can express thankfulness for family and friends, jobs, wellbeing, etc. Yet we must not forget that the object of harvest—then and now— has never ultimately been the harvest itself or the things we are thankful for. If that is all it is harvest has failed. How silly would it be to rejoice in the gift and forget the gift giver! Ultimately we rejoice in the Lord who is the giver of all good gifts (Jas 1:17), we rejoice in the character and goodness of God. That is how Habbakuk (3:17–19) was able to still praise the Lord even when the physical harvest had failed. When the Lord is our focus we can always rejoice whether we have much or little, beholding the Lord as our all in all.

The Lord’s Sweetest Blessings,

Pastor Chris