Daily reading: 29 September
It is important to share and show gratitude.
When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very edges of your field, or gather the gleanings of your harvest. You shall not strip your vineyard bare, or gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the alien: I am the Lord your God.
- Leviticus 19, 9-10 New Revised Standard Version. Click here to read the King James Version
Twenty years ago I was on holiday with a friend in Suffolk at harvest time. We drove past a potato field and realised that there were potatoes still lying there around the edges of the field, apparently left behind by the harvester. We gathered a bagful and had a wonderful supper back at our cottage. Was it stealing? My conscience still twinges when I remember.
So now I try to make restitution. In my neighbourhood, anything you leave by the kerbside will disappear within minutes as needy neighbours take what they can use. It isn’t charity. Somehow those things belong to them. It is good that nothing is wasted.
We live on a planet that is capable of sustaining its population. Today’s solutions will need to be more sophisticated than the one described in Leviticus. But it is the same God who commands that it should happen.
Clear out a drawer or cupboard or closet or bookcase and take a bagful of things to a charity shop. In with the cast-offs, include something you share purely out of generosity.
O God, we pray for the day when the poor will not have to scrounge around the edges of the world’s plenty but will be honoured guests at your table. Until that day comes, make us deeply conscious of what we have and what you ask us to share.
Today's contributor is the Rev Roberta Rominger, a former General Secretary of the United Reformed Church.
Published on 29 September 2017