Soft Refreshing Rain

Soft Refreshing Rain

Now you’re  probably thinking to yourself: “Soft refreshing rain” - where’s that phrase from? It sounds familiar….

The phrase is from the first verse of the harvest hymn, “We plough the fields, and scatter”. You will doubtless remember how the first verse goes:

“We plough the fields, and scatter, the good seed on the land,
But it is fed and watered by God’s almighty hand;
He sends the snow in winter, and warmth to swell the grain,
The breezes and the sunshine, and soft refreshing rain.”

This hymn will of course be sung in harvest services up and down the land, as we give thanks to God for all who grow our food, and think of practical ways in which we can share our food with others, so that none will go hungry.

You might be interested to know that many Christians are now looking to set the celebration of harvest within a much bigger picture. The period 1st September to 4th October has been set aside as a special time for prayer and care for Creation as whole. There are plenty of materials on the internet - simply search “Creation Time”, “season of Creation” or “Time for Creation”.

Which brings us back to “soft refreshing rain”.  It goes without saying that our crops depend on receiving the right amount of water at the right time. Recent years have seen significant changes to weather patterns around the world. As far as rainfall is concerned, there are two major problems. Firstly, several areas of the world have seen an increase in severe drought conditions, meaning that the production of food becomes impracticable, and forcing large numbers of men, women and children to become climate refugees. The second problem is an increase in extreme weather conditions, where catastrophic amounts of rain fall in a very short period of time.

A significant factor behind these shifting weather patterns is the release of greenhouse  gases into the atmosphere. Basically, as human beings we are burning way too much fossil fuel. What we need to do is to shift to renewable forms of energy, especially solar and wind.

If we wish to sing about “soft refreshing rain”, we really ought to be thinking about how the choices we make have an effect on the weather we experience.

How about shifting to a renewable form of energy, if we haven’t already done so?  The farmers of the world will thank us! 

Fr Jason