Harvest speaks of something accomplished, of good news for us all - that we are going to be able to continue to enjoy living. Or is that so? Millions still survive only on subsistence level or below it. Starvation faces many people of the world. Generally it is because of weather patterns changing or the result of political mis-management and war.
But as last week's devastating attack on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon shows, the survival of ordinary people also depends upon not being the prey of even greater evils than famine and earthquakes and bad government. There is one phrase in the Lord's prayer which sums it up - 'Deliver us from evil'.
The Christian gospel is the good news that in Jesus - in his life and terrible death and the consequent vindication - the power of evil has been broken at source. Millions of people have been strengthened by the grace given to them by the living Lord Christ to seek the good and renounce the evil. The hope for civilisation depends upon this good news that can never be shaken. In the meantime, the full harvest-time of good has not arrived and we are all called to follow after good whatever the suffering involved. Death is not the end of this entrance into the new life of association with the Father of Christ Jesus.