Beloved in Christ
This week we break away from the teachings of the Pentecost season, to celebrate harvest!
It is necessary to halt our life journey to gather to say thank you to God for the abundance of the earth. We have moved so far from co-existence and co-operation between nature and humankind, yet this vulnerable living earth has continued to hold us, keep us and sustain us. After just passing the autumn equinox on the 22nd, Tuesday, we look on a wonderful harvest. I have never lived so close to the farmland before, its produce growing alongside our paths, the harvest, the bales of hay, fresh ploughing and seeding. Thank you Lord for awakening us to your bounty, the changes, as a good season has yielded its harvest, and that there are good prospects for the next season.
Of course, our liturgical colours echo this green season, and we have much for which to be thankful and grateful. In our prayers, let us enumerate our blessings, and in community for their faithfulness and positivity. I endeavour to, like you, keep close to all the churches in our two villages, and share the desire to live together, and explore ways of deepening our bonds. I ask for your prayers please. I am delighted that St Mary’s and St Margaret’s cross-pollinate so much and within their respective communities, sharing our spiritual harvest with others.
I urge you to look at your own harvest in this past year. How have you changed, allowed God to breath newly into you, heal you, comfort you, restore you? It is my first harvest here, and it was hard not to seek to be part of the flower arrangers and helpers. I am trying to ‘be’ not ‘do’! Tomorrow, I will share and I feel excited at the prospect. Harvest time, in the midst of bounty and beauty, is a good time to consider your life, and what your lifetime harvest brings in, how you are serving others as part of your covenant with God, as his chosen one in a chosen community, and of faith. It has been a time of poignant memory for me, and bit by bit each part has been a coloured growth of my own harvest. A lifetime is a short season, and you, I and God have more seasons to share.
Tomorrow awaits and we will take lots of pictures to share with you, if you cannot be at church.
Regarding church matters, I attach the latest in the guidelines for Covid safety. I think we are doing our best to keep safe, but do read, especially the part about sanitising before and after taking communion. I see a number of us are bringing our own sanitisers which is easier than using the positioned ones in church.
Here are the readings:
Deuteronomy 8: 7 – 18
2 Corinthians 9: 6 – 15
Luke 12: 16 – 30
You might like to look up and sing some of the harvest hymns:
105, 128#, 291#, 290
And now, some poetry, to let you adventure into a new or familiar time, and glorify God! They are selected by Ann Bridges, for your pleasure. You might like to use some of the words for your prayer:
1. A Thanksgiving to God
Tis Thou that crownst my glittering hearth
With guiltless mirth;
And givst me wassail-bowls to drink,
Spiced to the brink.
Lord, tis Thy plenty-dropping hand
That feeds my land;
And givst me, for my bushel sown,
Twice ten for one;
Thou makst my teeming hen to lay
Her egg each day;
Besides my healthful ewes to bear
Me twins each year;
The while the conduits of my kine
Run cream, for wine.
All these, and better, Thou dost send
Me, to this end,
That I should render, for my part,
A thankful heart,
Which, fired with incense, I resign,
As wholly Thine;
But the acceptance, that must be,
My Christ, by Thee.
2. The Harvest
Sun on the mountain,
Shade in the valley,
Sun, like a gold sword
Plucked from the scabbard,
Striking the wheat-fields,
Splendid and lusty,
Toppling with plenty.
Shade, like a shield,
Kindly and ample,
Sweeping the wheat-fields
Darkening and tossing.
Acres of gold wheat
Stir in the sunshine,
Rounding the hill-top,
Crested with plenty,
Filling the valley,
Brim with abundance,
Laden with odours
Of peace and of plenty,
Soft comes the wind
From the ranks of the wheat-field,
Bearing a promise
Of harvest and sickle-time,
And wagons of bread,
Slow-laden and lumbering
Through the gateways of cities.
Duncan Campbell Scott
3. Tis sweet, when fields are ringing
With the merry crickets singing,
Oft to mark with curious eye
If the vine-trees time be nigh:
Here is now the fruit whose birth
Cost some throes to Mother Earth.
Sweet it is, too, to be telling,
How the luscious figs are swelling;
Then to riot without measure
In the rich, nectareous treasure,
While our grateful voices chime,–
Happy season! blessed time.
Thank you to each of you for your non-perishables, for your steadfastness, the time preparing the loveliness, and for a beautiful leaflet!
God bless! Be thankful! Keep joyful and share, so that others might benefit from your kindness.
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