October brings the autumn in full. Leaves in the trees are changing, and so is the weather. Days continue to get shorter and at the end of the month the clocks will change. October is also a time of harvest. Throughout the country the fruits of the summer have been collected and fields ploughed ready for next planting.
Harvest time is traditionally a celebration of the produce – a time to thank God for the growth of crops over the seasons.
The Bible includes many references to harvest and planting. Marking the harvest can be seen as early as in Exodus 23, the Feast of the Harvest and the Feast of Ingathering, after the crop has been gathered in. In addition to the harvest of crops and the fruitfulness of the ground, the Bible also talks about spiritual fruit. The natural processes were created to show and teach us about spiritual ideas.
For us to be ‘fruitful’ harvest we must learn and grow in God’s truth. How can we tell fruitfulness? At harvest time the yields are obvious – a quantity and quality of fruit is produced and can be measured. Galatians 5 tells us about the fruits of the spirit:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control”.
How can we have such a fruitful harvest? Galatians 5 continues:
“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passion and desires”.
Much like farming this requires hard and ongoing work; if we do nothing, nothing will grow!
1 Corinthians 3 tells us that it is not the planter or the one who waters a plant who give the increase; it is God who gives the increase. This applies to both the physical produce from the ground, and the spiritual fruits we can bear. With this in mind, as we see the turn of the seasons and think of the harvest we thank God for the fruit of the harvest and we work to be fruitful ourselves.