Harvest 2021

 

This short act of worship has been prepared for you. I invite you to share in a few moments with God, knowing that other people within Paulton, Trinity and Chew Stoke Methodist Churches are sharing this act of worship with you.

Revd Martin Slocombe

 

The Lord has done great things - Flower

 

Psalm 126 - A Harvest of Joy

1 When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
   we were like those who dream. 
2 Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
   and our tongue with shouts of joy;
then it was said among the nations,
   ‘The Lord has done great things for them.’ 
3 The Lord has done great things for us,
   and we rejoiced. 

4 Restore our fortunes, O Lord,
   like the watercourses in the Negeb. 
5 May those who sow in tears
   reap with shouts of joy. 
6 Those who go out weeping,
   bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy,
   carrying their sheaves.

Hymn – 355, Come, ye thankful people, come

   1      Come, you thankful people, come,
           raise the song of harvest home!
           Fruit and crops are gathered in
           safe before the storms begin:
           God our maker will provide
           for our needs to be supplied;
           come, with all his people, come,
           raise the song of harvest home!

   2      All the world is God’s own field,
           harvests for his praise to yield;
           wheat and weeds together sown
           here for joy or sorrow grown:
           first the blade and then the ear,
           then the full corn shall appear —
           Lord of harvest, grant that we
           wholesome grain and pure may be.

   3      For the Lord our God shall come
           and shall bring his harvest home;
           he himself on that great day,
           worthless things shall take away,
           give his angels charge at last
           in the fire the weeds to cast,
           but the fruitful ears to store
           in his care for evermore.

   4      Even so, Lord, quickly come —
           bring your final harvest home!
           Gather all your people in
           free from sorrow, free from sin,
           there together purified,
           ever thankful at your side —
           come, with all your angels, come,
           bring that glorious harvest home!

Henry Alford (1810–1871)

 

Prayer of adoration & confession

God our maker,
you provide for our wants year by year and generation by generation.
You love us, your people, and you give us food and shelter.
You give us people to care for us and to be cared for by us.
You give us community, and you call us to be part of the one world community.
You enrich our lives with thought and pleasure, music, art and storytelling.
And at the centre of all this, you give us our Lord Jesus Christ, your own being here on earth, as Saviour and friend, guide and example, showing us how you intend life on earth to be.
We worship you.

(Silence)

God of harvest, you have given us everything we need, yet we are ungrateful.
We live in bondage to our own selfishness.
We live in a world that has not yet 'made poverty history' and where the poor live in bondage to the rich.
We have much to learn about what it means to be your disciples and co-workers.

(Silence)

Deliver us, O Lord. Heal us, forgive us.
Open our hearts to forgive those who have dealt with us unfairly and to embrace the work you call us to labour at until we return, full of song, carrying the sheaves when you restore the world to the glory you intend for it.

Amen. 

Reflection – What did Jesus do when it was harvest festival?

Jesus would have followed and celebrated the Jewish festivals around harvest, and probably spent a week living in a tent surrounded by the fruit and branches that have been collected from the fields. 

Today, Jews still celebrate the festival of Sukkoth, or the feast of Tabernacles or Booths, by building temporary structures and decorating them with fruit and branches, and living and eating in them for a week.  A few years ago, I was visiting a Synagogue in the centre of London about this time of year, and I was invited to go up on the roof, to see the tabernacles they had built, as this was the only open space they had.

The festival remembers the time of wandering in the wilderness, the people homeless and dependent upon God for food and shelter, and life was hard.  But God provided abundantly for them, and led them to a land which provided them with everything they needed.  And so the Festival of Tabernacles remembers the thankfulness of the Jewish people for God’s provision.

Reading - Leviticus 23: 39-43

39 Now, the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the produce of the land, you shall keep the festival of the Lord, lasting seven days; a complete rest on the first day, and a complete rest on the eighth day. 40On the first day you shall take the fruit of majestic trees, branches of palm trees, boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days. 41You shall keep it as a festival to the Lord seven days in the year; you shall keep it in the seventh month as a statute for ever throughout your generations.42You shall live in booths for seven days; all that are citizens in Israel shall live in booths, 43so that your generations may know that I made the people of Israel live in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.

Reflection – What do we remember of past harvest festivals?

What do you remember of past harvest festivals?  What customs from Radstock and Westfield are remembered by the congregations?

The reading from Leviticus contains strange traditions, which sound very alien to us, but which were, and still are, important to Jews.  And perhaps some of the events that we have remembered also sound a little strange and alien to others today.  But all of these traditions are part of our story as followers of a God who continually provides for our needs across so many generations.

God’s people have always been on the move, wandering, being in preparation for the next phase, and that is certainly true of Trinity today.  We might feel uncomfortable and uncertain of the future, but we are certain that God travels with us.  We will begin that new phase in February and we want you all to see the opportunities that will provide, and that you will want to travel with us.  We will form new traditions that future generations will look back on with nostalgia, just as we are doing today.  But sadly I recognise that some of you are intent upon choosing to walk a separate path.  That is not what anyone wants, but you are all adults and are free to make up your own minds.  But that will not stop us from our mission of creating a new Trinity Methodist Church.

In our wandering, God works patiently with us, and continues to provide everything we need.

Song – Harvest Samba

Offering

Prayer
God who cares for us,
we bring you gifts to thank you for the ways in which you continue to provide for us and for the ways in which you still guide and care for our community.

Thank you for the beauty of your gifts.
Don't let us ever forget that all good things come from you, not ourselves.
May we always care for those who don't have enough of the good things of life, and to work to make your world a fairer place.
In the name of Jesus we pray.
Amen. 

We know the story of Jesus meeting a Samaritan woman at a well, and the unconventional conversation they have which challenges all the past traditions of the people.  Again, Jesus ushers in a new time.  In that conversation her life is changed, and she rushes off to tell the whole village about the man she has just met.  But the disciples have missed the conversation, and they now return to Jesus with lunch.

Reading – John 4: 31-42

31 Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, ‘Rabbi, eat something.’ 32But he said to them, ‘I have food to eat that you do not know about.’ 33So the disciples said to one another, ‘Surely no one has brought him something to eat?’ 34Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to complete his work. 35Do you not say, “Four months more, then comes the harvest”? But I tell you, look around you, and see how the fields are ripe for harvesting. 36The reaper is already receiving wages and is gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. 37For here the saying holds true, “One sows and another reaps.”38I sent you to reap that for which you did not labour. Others have laboured, and you have entered into their labour.’

39 Many Samaritans from that city believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, ‘He told me everything I have ever done.’ 40So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them; and he stayed there for two days. 41And many more believed because of his word. 42They said to the woman, ‘It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the Saviour of the world.’

Reflection – How does Jesus want us to keep harvest festival?

Jesus talks about sowing and reaping.  We may reap what previous generations have worked hard to sow, but we also have a responsibility to sow for future generations to reap.  We cannot just sit back and do nothing and live off the harvest, otherwise there will be no harvest for future generations.  So, what kind of harvest are we labouring for in this church?

Next Wednesday we will be meeting at Westfield at 7pm for our Annual General Meeting, and everyone is invited, and I hope as many as possible of you will come.  There will only be a few matters of business to deal with, and the majority of the meeting will be introducing the new Mission Planning Workbook.  As we start to shape this new phase of our discipleship at Trinity, we need to look at the communities in which we worship, live and work, and start preparing the ground for the sowing, which we, or future generations, will be able to reap in the future.  I hope you will all want to engage in the tilling of the fields.

In Luke 10 verse 2, Jesus says, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest.”

May we go out willingly into God’s fields, and labour for him.

Amen

Hymn – 769 – God is working his purpose out

  1 God is working this purpose out,
as year succeeds to year;
God is working this purpose out,
and the time is drawing near;
nearer and nearer draws the time,
the time that shall surely be:
when the earth shall be filled with the glory of God
as the waters cover the sea.

2 From utmost east to utmost west,
where human feet have trod,
by the mouth of many messengers
goes forth the voice of God:
“Give ear to me, ye continents,
ye isles, give ear to me,
that the earth may be filled with the glory of God
as the waters cover the sea.”

 3 Let us go forth in the strength of God,
with the banner of Christ unfurled,
that the light of the glorious gospel of truth
may shine throughout the world.
Let us all fight with sorrow and sin
to set the captives free,
that the earth may be filled with the glory of God
as the waters cover the sea.

4 All we can do is nothing worth
unless God blesses the deed.
Vainly we hope for the harvest-tide
till God gives life to the seed.
Yet nearer and nearer draws the time,
the time that shall surely be,
when the earth shall be filled with the glory of God
as the waters cover the sea.

Arthur Campbell Ainger (1841-1919)

 

Prayers for others

We pray for the world, for Afghanistan and the forest fires in California

We pray for your church in the world,

for the North East Somerset & Bath Circuit, of which we are a part, for it’s ministers, lay workers, churches and congregations – especially this week we join with the Circuit as we pray together for Chew Stoke.

And as Churches Together we pray for this church at Trinity Radstock

We pray for our friends who are unwell, and their families who are supporting them, and for all those we know and love …………

And we pray for ourselves

In silence or spoken aloud, we bring our own prayers

silence

God of all, we ask on behalf of all those in need.

Amen

The Lord’s Prayer

Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us

 

Our Father, who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy name;

thy kingdom come;

thy will be done;

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation;

but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom,

the power, and the glory

for ever and ever.

Amen.

Hymn – 352 – We plough the fields and scatter

   1      We plough the fields, and scatter
           the good seed on the land,
           but it is fed and watered
           by God’s almighty hand;
           he sends the snow in winter,
           the warmth to swell the grain,
           the breezes and the sunshine,
           and soft, refreshing rain.
                All good gifts around us
                are sent from heaven above;
                then thank the Lord, O thank the Lord,
                for all his love.

   2      He only is the maker
           of all things near and far;
           he paints the wayside flower,
           he lights the evening star;
           the winds and waves obey him,
           by him the birds are fed;
           much more to us, his children,
           he gives our daily bread.

   3      We thank you then, O Father,
           for all things bright and good:
           the seed-time and the harvest,
           our life, our health, our food.
           Accept the gifts we offer
           for all your love imparts,
           and, what you most desire,
           our humble, thankful hearts.

Matthias Claudius (1740–1815)
translated by Jane Montgomery Campbell (1817–1878)  (alt.)

 

Prayer 

Grant, eternal God, that our observance of harvest festival may bring us blessing, happiness and joy.
Sanctify us by your commandments, and make us loyal to your teaching.
Satisfy us with your goodness, gladden us with your salvation, and purify our hearts to serve you in truth. 

Blessing 

The Lord bless you and keep you.
The Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you.
The Lord lift up the light of his countenance upon you, and give you peace.

Amen.

 

CCLI Licence 354889

 

 


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Abide in Him, and He in us.
Assurance of the eternal love of God

Rich or Poor All are Welcome
The Lord is Maker of them all.

Are you clean on the inside?
Doers of the word, and not merely hearers.

Reaffirm your faith in God.
Jesus calls us to follow Him.

Communion - Bread & Wine
What it means to take Communion.

O taste and see that the Lord is good!
Happy are those who take refuge in him.

PRAYER
How to pray. God is never closed for business!

Trust in the Shepherd who looks after his sheep
Look to the future!

SEA SUNDAY
Riding the storms of life with Jesus

The Kingdom of God
Parable of the Mustard Seed. Branch out in faith.

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