At Home

“At home” – a service for Harvest 2020

You may like to place some fruit or vegetables, or indeed any food on a small table in front of you and perhaps begin by reflecting on this food. Think of how it started; how it grew; how it was farmed and the whole journey until it came to be in front of you now.

 

Introduction:

Everything on earth has its own time and its own season. There is a time for planting and reaping.

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, Heaven and earth are full of your glory; Hosanna in the highest.

 

Hymn: Come ye thankful people come. (Its number 289 in Hymns Ancient and Modern New Standard)

 

Confession

Dr Martin Luther King wrote: ‘Before you finish eating your breakfast this morning, you’ve depended on half the world. This is the way our universe is structured.’

 

We confess our sin, and the sins of our society, in the misuse of God’s creation. God our Father, we are sorry for the times when we have used your gifts carelessly,

and acted ungratefully. Forgive us and help us.

We enjoy the fruits of the harvest, but sometimes forget that you have given them to us. Forgive us and help us.

We belong to a people who are full and satisfied, but ignore the cry of the hungry. Forgive us and help us.

We are thoughtless, and do not care enough for the world you have made. Forgive us and help us.

We store up goods for ourselves alone, as if there were no God and no heaven. Forgive us and help us. Amen

 

Bible reading: Luke 17 verses 11 – 19

On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee. As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance, they called out, saying, ‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!’ When he saw them, he said to them, ‘Go and show yourselves to the priests.’ And as they went, they were made clean. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. He prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus asked, ‘Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?’ Then he said to him, ‘Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well.’

 

Reflection;

How, you might be wondering, do we equate 10 lepers coming to Jesus with our harvest celebration?

Well, lets start off with those 10 lepers. As a leper one was rejected by the other people in their town. You’d have been thrown out; ostracised from your community, your family. Forbidden to enter any town, anywhere, forced to live a life in the dessert or countryside, forbidden to approach people. You had to scrounge everything, you couldn’t buy or beg for food.

Leprosy was a death sentence; a lonely, lingering death.

So, 10 lepers come to see Jesus. What do they want? Simple, they want to be cleansed from their leprosy. They want to be accepted as part of society again, to be loved and cared for again.

And Jesus sends them on their way to see the priest, because it was only through the priest’s decision that they could be said to have been cured from leprosy and be able to return to life in their village with their family.

Whilst they were on their way, they were healed and one came back to say ‘Thank you’. And here is a message for us: Never take God for granted; always thank him for his blessings to us corporately and individually!

And that brings us to our Harvest thanksgiving; its very different this year as you may be spending it at home rather than in church, you may even be self-isolating or having to.

But its still right that we should say “Thank you”. Thank you to God for his blessings upon us. Thank you to God for his care for us. Thank you to God for the crops in our fields, for the fruits in the orchards, for the animals on the farm.

Our harvest thanksgiving this year is, perhaps, even more poignant for, as our last hymn puts it, “All good gifts around us are sent from Heaven above, so thank the Lord, O thank the Lord for all his love.”

 

Prayers.

(You may like to sing the response to each prayer bidding)

We pray for farmers, their families and communities and all who depend on them, For all who are worried about tomorrow and facing difficulties today.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow; 
Praise him all creatures here below. Praise him above the heavenly host, Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost

We pray for agricultural chaplains, support groups and rural churches, for the communities in which they work and the people to whom they minister.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow; Praise him all creatures here below. Praise him above the heavenly host, Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost

We pray for retailers and suppliers, for all involved in the processing and transporting of food.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow; Praise him all creatures here below. Praise him above the heavenly host, Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost

We pray for urban communities far removed from food production, for children and young people with little knowledge of where their food comes from. For those who go hungry and those who endeavour to feed them, for relief agencies and aid workers giving help and healing to those in need.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow; Praise him all creatures here below. Praise him above the heavenly host, Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost

We pray for restraint and fairness in the use of economic power, for discernment and a long view in farm policy and decision, for justice in world trade.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow; Praise him all creatures here below. Praise him above the heavenly host, Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost

We pray for ourselves that we may eat with joy and with care, for land and livestock and love for those who care for them.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow; Praise him all creatures here below. Praise him above the heavenly host, Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost

We pray for the ability to appreciate your generosity, and a readiness to recognize our dependence on one another. And on you.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow; Praise him all creatures here below. Praise him above the heavenly host, Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost

 

Hymn 290      We plough the fields and scatter

 




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