I’ve always been drawn to the days leading both up to and
away from the Autumn Equinox. The energies of light and
darkness are perfectly balanced, and the slower energies of
summer give way to the quickened pace of autumn.
A new school year begins (affecting not only students but
also parents, teachers, and staff). New movie, television,
and theater seasons are under way. And automakers
announce new car models with much fanfare. The overall
effect is of a tangible new year, even more than in January.
Metaphysically, of course, it’s a season of gratitude for an
abundant harvest in all areas of our lives—new ideas, new
manifestations, new commitments to spiritual Truth. Each
year, the Autumn Equinox remains exciting, rich, and full
Not surprisingly, harvest imagery is prevalent
throughout the Bible, from Adam’s consequence for divine
disobedience in Genesis 3 all the way through the final
Revelation to John (14:15: “Use your sickle and reap, for
the hour to reap has come, because the harvest of the earth
is fully ripe”).
In Genesis, harvesting is depicted as a form of
punishment. “Cursed is the ground because of you,” the
Lord tells Adam, “In toil you shall eat of it all the days of
your life” (3: 17). By the time the Hebrews take possession
of the Promise Land, “harvest” is seen instead as a symbol
of God’s infinite love. “The Lord will give what is good, and
our land will yield its increase,” we read in Psalm 85: 12.
The various prophets clearly understood this symbology.
“Use the sickle, for the harvest is ripe,” Joel advises. “Go
in, tread, for the wine press is full.” On the other hand,
problems with the harvest are seen as indicative of
problems between the human and the Divine. “You shall
sow, but not reap,” we read in Micah 6: 15. “You shall tread
olives, but not anoint yourselves with oil; you shall tread
grapes, but not drink wine.” Something is clearly amiss in
the relationship between God and humankind.
In the New Testament, Jesus uses harvest imagery to
describe the new consciousness he calls the kingdom of
heaven. He uses simple images (“The harvest is plentiful,
Many of these images are common in several of the
Gospels. Matthew, Mark, and Luke share many parables
featuring the Divine as a farmer, vintner, or landowner.
The parable of the seeds is common to Matthew ( 13), Mark
(4: 3), and Luke (8: 5). Matthew adds another agricultural
parable at 13: 24—the story of “someone who sowed good
seed in his field” but whose enemy mixed weeds in with
the wheat. The solution? Use separate harvests for weeds
and wheat. The seeds may be indistinguishable, but the
difference in the final product will be clear.
Perhaps the most passionate harvest imagery in the
Gospels appears in John 4: 35-36. “Look around you,” the
apostle urges his disciples, “and see how the fields are ripe
for harvesting. The reaper is already receiving wages and is
gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may
This is the essence of unity (or Unity)—is it not? The
sowers and the reapers are parts of the same energy,
rejoicing together in the harvest of which both are
A Holy Harvest
Metaphysical meanings behind the Bible and other scriptures
REV. ED TOWNLEY IS A UNITY MINISTER
AND THE FOUNDER OF SPIRIT EXPRESSING,
A CENTER COMMITTED TO EXPLORING THE
CREATIVE POWER OF SPIRITUAL PRINCIPLES,
IN MANCHESTER, CONNECTICUT. VISIT
THE SPIRIT OF SCRIPTURE
THE OVERALL EFFECT IS OF
A TANGIBLE NEW YEAR, EVEN
MORE THAN IN JANUARY.