Sunday, 8 March 2015

The Harvest of the Sea

I’ve still got a cough and cold, so did not really feel fit enough to write anything today. Instead, here is a piece from “The Pilot” of 1987.

The Harvest of the Sea
By John Jean

Living as we do surrounded by water, many islanders have a strong liking for fish of all types, and Jerseymen of the older generation liked nothing better than a day spent gathering the succulent ormers, sandeeling by the light of the moon, catching `cats', or just plain razor fishing with salt or hook.

If much of the splendid displays of fish seen in the shops and markets these days are supplies from Grimsby, the local fishermen still land a considerable amount of fish, often at some cost to themselves.

For obvious reasons fish can not be used in the lovely displays in our churches at harvest time, but shells and nets and other fishing tackle can be used and indeed do appear in some churches.

Another aspect of harvest of the sea that few of us give a moment's thought to, is that as I daily look out over St Aubin's Bay, whatever the weather, in fog, blizzard and in the severest gales, I see the constant arrival of container ships, oil tankers, colliers and gas carrying ships bringing all the supplies so necessary for the comfortable lives that we enjoy.

Would not Jesus have regarded this traffic as part of the harvest? Should we not include in our thanksgivings a prayer for the men who man these ships? If the vessels are man-made, the sea is part of God's gift to us and to him we should offer our thanks as we continue to enjoy this harvest of the sea.

The sea still takes it toll as recent events, both locally and further afield are remembered, and as I often pray in St Lawrence's beautiful Hamptonne chapel I look at the east window which depicts the calming of the storm and I am instantly soothed.

I wonder if the "Fishermen's version" of the 23rd Psalm written in 1874, by Captain John Roberts, is known and used by mariners today.

"The Lord is my pilot; I shall not drift.
He lighteth me across the dark waters;
He steereth me in deep channels.
He keepeth my log;
He guardeth me by the Star of holiness, for His name's sake;
Yea' though I sail mid the thunders and tempest of life, I will dread no danger;
For thou art near me; thy love and thy care they shelter me.
Thou preparest a harbour before me in the homeland of eternity;
Thou anointest the waves with oil; my ship rideth calmly;
Surely sunlight and starlight shall favour me on the voyage
I take; and I will rest in the port of my God forever."

No comments: