We did not plant a vegetable garden this year. We were going to be away too frequently this summer to make stewarding a vegetable garden a good idea. The patch got weeded a couple of times, that was all we did. But lo and behold, where the tomatoes had been last year, up came “volunteer” tomato plants. Some of last year’s tomatoes had fallen to the ground and rotted, their seeds survived the Winnipeg winter, and up came the plants. We did little, except to watch in anticipation for the moment when we could enjoy the fruit of creation’s labour.
In grace and generosity, the Creator made the fertile soil and the hardy seeds. In grace and generosity, the Creator sent sunshine and rain. Sometimes stewarded by farmers and gardeners, sometimes without human action, the land produces an abundance, which is God’s gift to humanity and to the birds of the air and beasts of the fields. We rejoice in God’s provision and our hearts are filled with gratitude.
We come, God our provider, with grateful hearts, for once again the earth which you made has produced a crop. Once again we are being fed by your hand.
We thank you for wide fields of rich soil where wheat and corn, barley and canola grow. With gratitude, we thank you for calling farmers to the work of stewarding the land and the crop.
We praise you for shallow lakeshores where wild rice grows and the rugged open places where blueberries are found. With gratitude, we thank you for calling harvesters to the work of stewarding the land and bring in its abundance.
We thank you for the produce of our gardens and vegetable patches which we can enjoy, joining in the joy of harvest. We thank you that you have invited us to active participation in the stewardship of creation.
With grateful hearts, we thank you. Shape our actions, that with gratitude we might share the abundance that we have received with people close at hand and those who are far away. So that all people in joy might celebrate the abundance you have brought to the whole world.
In thankfulness, we celebrate the harvest you, O Lord, have provided.
We pray in the name of Jesus, who is the bread of life for the whole world. Amen.
—The Rev. Peter Bush, moderator of the 143rd General Assembly