Earth is the Lord's and all that is in it, the world and all who live
here" (Psalm 24:1)
afternoon stop is a local winery at the village of Saint Pierre on Ile
d'Orleans just outside Quebec City.
long is the growing season here"?
attendant pours a taster's sample into my glass as he replies to my
From about May until the end of September … we planned to start the
harvest this morning; but because of the rain it will have to wait until
harvest is the bounty of grapes used to make the offering of wines. The
rich red I sampled had a hint of the sacramental. It seemed fitting
somehow. Over several days we traveled through the verdant St. Lawrence
River Valley. Hay was in the fields, apples and pumpkins were piled high
for sale by local growers, the hardwoods had turned brilliant. The length
of the St. Lawrence and northern New Brunswick stretched out as a long
rich autumn sacrament on either side of the highway. The sacrament was
abundant in both produce and history. Cartier and Champlain made first
contact here at the birth of New France. First Nations Names like
Montagnais and Maliseet are rooted in the countryside. Such are "the
people" who had made the survival of the earliest colonists possible.
in the midst of the bucolic comes easy; but what about life grounded in
what we have come to call "infrastructure"? Montreal was as
vibrant and energetic as always; but rue St. Catherine was closed for
blocks for urban renewal. Above ground was the sound of heavy equipment,
jackhammers, and traffic. The construction workers are likely thankful to
have work in this economy. Underground the metro hummed and the stations
were packed with harried commuters. Scores of students and young workers
hurry on to make their stake in the world. Out on the streets French and
English intermingles with accents from many lands. No doubt some are
newcomers thankful to be here. They come bearing their own distinctive
gifts at the birth of the future. The growers and farmers of the
countryside are likely thankful for the highways and rail lines that move
their goods and for the electricity carried on power lines that cross some
of the richest farmland on the planet. Concealed above in the afternoon
sky are the satellites that link both the office tower and the rural
merchant with the whole inhabited world.
want to resist dividing up the one world that the Creator has given us.
Thankfulness is not just about enjoying the view. Thankfulness is an
awareness of being part of the great web of life. Thankfulness is being
grateful for the labor of others both past and present. Thankfulness is
the inquiring and discerning heart that chooses with care the contribution
he or she will offer to the world. Jesus described the kingdom of God as a
vineyard. It's a parable about God's world and all of us who dwell
therein. We are thankful, Lord, to be here.
Rev. Canon Rod Gillis