God's greatness and love: Harvest Thanksgiving
Big things and little things
At Harvest Thanksgiving, especially in country parishes, we decorate the church with flowers and fruit and vegetables. And you will often see one particular vegetable and the larger it is the better. I mean, of course, the vegetable marrow, and those who grow them pick out the biggest and the best for the Harvest Festival. In fact, you will often hear a really big one called a ‘Harvest Festival marrow’. And yet, although marrows are such fine and comfortable-looking things, and we love to see them growing larger and larger in the garden or allotment until they look as though they will burst, they are really no more wonderful than a little flower like a daisy.
In the entrance hall of the Natural History Museum in London there is the skeleton of a blue whale. Blue whales are huge, even bigger than the dinosaurs were, and the good news is that they are still alive today. They are the largest animals that have ever lived (1) and if you see the skeleton you will remember it all your life. But, although it is so wonderful, there are other things just as marvellous which are so small that you can’t even see them without using a microscope, which you probably know is an instrument that makes things look bigger. Have you ever looked at a single drop of pond water through a microscope? If you have you’ll know that you can see tiny little creatures darting about in all directions. Each one is a miracle as are all the other living things which God has made.
In fact the little things tell of his greatness as much as the big things do. God is so great that, even while he is guiding the mighty stars as they spin on their way though space, he still notices, as Jesus told us, each little sparrow as it hops to the ground (Matthew 10:29). As we sing in the hymn:
“he paints the wayside flower,
he lights the evening star;” (2)