Harvest Festival Evensong Sunday 10th

12 Oct 21

Hymn – Come Ye Thankful People Come 

1)    Come, ye thankful people, come,
raise the song of harvest home;
all is safely gathered in,
ere the winter storms begin.
God our Maker doth provide
for our wants to be supplied;
come to God's own temple, come,
raise the song of harvest home.

 

2)    All the world is God's own field,
fruit as praise to God we yield;
wheat and tares together sown
are to 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 take the harvest home;
from the field shall in that day
all offenses purge away,
give his angels charge at last
in the fire the tares to cast;
but the fruitful ears to store
in the garner evermore.

 

4)    Even so, Lord, quickly come,
to thy final harvest home;
gather thou thy people in,
free from sorrow, free from sin,
there, forever purified,
in thy presence to abide;
come, with all thine angels come,
raise the glorious harvest home.
(by Henry Alford – 1810 to 1871) 

Opening Prayer

Enter not into judgement with thy servant, O Lord; for in thy sight shall no man living be justified. (Psalm 143 Ver: 2)

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us: but if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1  John Chap: 1 Vers: 8 and 9) 

Dearly beloved brethren, the Scripture moveth us in sundry places to acknowledge and confess our manifold sins and wickedness; and that we should not dissemble nor cloke them before the face of Almighty God our heavenly Father; but confess them with an humble, lowly, penitent, and obedient heart; to the end that we may obtain forgiveness of the same, by his infinite goodness and mercy. And although we ought at all times humbly to acknowledge our sins before God; yet ought we most chiefly so to do, when we assemble and meet together to render thanks for the great benefits that we have received at his hands, to set forth his most worthy praise, to hear his most holy Word, and to ask those things which are requisite and necessary, as well for the body as the soul. Wherefore I pray and beseech you, as many as are here present, to accompany me with a pure heart and humble voice unto the throne of the heavenly grace, saying after me:

Confession 

Almighty and most merciful Father, We have erred, and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep, We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts, We have offended against thy holy laws, We have left undone those things which we ought to have done, And we have done those things which we ought not to have done, And there is no health in us: But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us miserable offenders; Spare thou them, O God, which confess their faults, Restore thou them that are penitent, According to thy promises declared unto mankind in Christ Jesu our Lord: And grant, O most merciful Father, for his sake, That we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life, To the glory of thy holy Name. Amen.

The Absolution or Remission of sins to be pronounced by the Priest 

All: Almighty God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who desired not the death of a sinner, but rather that he may turn from his wickedness, and live; and hath given power, and commandment, to his Ministers, to declare and pronounce to his people, being penitent, the Absolution and Remission of their sins: He pardoned and absolved all them that truly repent, and unfeigned believe his holy Gospel. Wherefore let us beseech him to grant us true repentance, and his Holy Spirit, that those things may please him, which we do at this present; and that the rest of our life hereafter may be pure, and holy; so that at the last we may come to his eternal joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

All: Our Father, which art in heaven,

Hallowed be thy Name,

Thy kingdom come,

Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread;

And forgive us our trespasses,

As we forgive them that 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.

O Lord, open thou our lips.
All: And our mouth shall show forth thy praise.

O God, make speed to save us.
All: O Lord, make haste to help us.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;

All:. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Praise ye the Lord.
All: The Lord's Name be praised. 

Psalm 65

1 O God, it is right for us to praise you in Zion and keep our promises to you, 

2 because you answer prayers. People everywhere will come to you 

3 on account of their sins. Our faults defeat us, but you forgive them. 

4 Happy are those whom you choose, whom you bring to live in your sanctuary. We shall be satisfied with the good things of your house, the blessings of your sacred Temple. 

5 You answer us by giving us victory, and you do wonderful things to save us. People all over the world and across the distant seas trust in you. 

6 You set the mountains in place by your strength, showing your mighty power. 

7 You calm the roar of the seas and the noise of the waves; you calm the uproar of the peoples. 

8 The whole world stands in awe of the great things that you have done. Your deeds bring shouts of joy from one end of the earth to the other. 

9 You show your care for the land by sending rain; you make it rich and fertile. You fill the streams with water; you provide the earth with crops. This is how you do it: 

10 you send abundant rain on the plowed fields and soak them with water; you soften the soil with showers and cause the young plants to grow.

 11 What a rich harvest your goodness provides! Wherever you go there is plenty. 

12 The pastures are filled with flocks; the hillsides are full of joy. 

13 The fields are covered with sheep; the valleys are full of wheat. Everything shouts and sings for joy.

The First Reading  – Deuteronomy Chap: 8 

7 The Lord your God is bringing you into a fertile land - a land that has rivers and springs, and underground streams gushing out into the valleys and hills; 

8 a land that produces wheat and barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives, and honey. 

9 There you will never go hungry or ever be in need. Its rocks have iron in them, and from its hills you can mine copper. 

10 You will have all you want to eat, and you will give thanks to the Lord your God for the fertile land that he has given you. 

11 "Make certain that you do not forget the Lord your God; do not fail to obey any of his laws that I am giving you today. 

12 When you have all you want to eat and have built good houses to live in 

13 and when your cattle and sheep, your silver and gold, and all your other possessions have increased, 

14 be sure that you do not become proud and forget the Lord your God who rescued you from Egypt, where you were slaves. 

15 He led you through that vast and terrifying desert where there were poisonous snakes and scorpions. In that dry and waterless land he made water flow out of solid rock for you. 

16 In the desert he gave you manna to eat, food that your ancestors had never eaten. He sent hardships on you to test you, so that in the end he could bless you with good things. 

17 So then, you must never think that you have made yourselves wealthy by your own power and strength. 

18 Remember that it is the Lord your God who gives you the power to become rich. He does this because he is still faithful today to the covenant that he made with your ancestors. 

This is the word of the Lord.

All:      Thanks be to God.

 Magnificat

All:  My soul doth magnify the Lord :
and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.

For he hath regarded :
the lowliness of his hand-maiden.

For behold, from henceforth :
all generations shall call me blessed.

For he that is mighty hath magnified me :
and holy is his Name.

And his mercy is on them that fear him :
throughout all generations.

He hath shewed strength with his arm :
he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.

He hath put down the mighty from their seat :
and hath exalted the humble and meek.

He hath filled the hungry with good things :
and the rich he hath sent empty away.

He remembering his mercy hath holpen his servant Israel :
as he promised to our forefathers, Abraham and his seed, for ever.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son :
and to the Holy Ghost;

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be :
world without end.

Amen.

2nd Reading 1 Corinthians Chap: 9

6 Or are Barnabas and I the only ones who have to work for our living? 

7 What soldiers ever have to pay their own expenses in the army? What farmers do not eat the grapes from their own vineyard? What shepherds do not use the milk from their own sheep? 

8 I don't have to limit myself to these everyday examples, because the Law says the same thing. 

9 We read in the Law of Moses, "Do not muzzle an ox when you are using it to thresh grain." Now, is God concerned about oxen? 

10 Didn't he really mean us when he said that? Of course that was written for us. Anyone who plows and anyone who reaps should do their work in the hope of getting a share of the crop. 

11 We have sown spiritual seed among you. Is it too much if we reap material benefits from you? 

12 If others have the right to expect this from you, don't we have an even greater right? But we haven't made use of this right. Instead, we have endured everything in order not to put any obstacle in the way of the Good News about Christ. 

13 Surely you know that the men who work in the Temple get their food from the Temple and that those who offer the sacrifices on the altar get a share of the sacrifices. 

14 In the same way, the Lord has ordered that those who preach the gospel should get their living from it. 

15 But I haven't made use of any of these rights, nor am I writing this now in order to claim such rights for myself. I would rather die first! Nobody is going to turn my rightful boast into empty words! 

This is the Gospel of the Lord.

 All:       Praise to you, O Christ.

Nunc Dimittis

All: Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace:
according to thy word.

For mine eyes have seen: thy salvation;

Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;

To be a light to lighten the Gentiles, and to be the glory of thy people Israel.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost;

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be world without end.

Amen.

We say the Creed

All: I believe in God the Father Almighty,

Maker of heaven and earth:

And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord,

Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost,

Born of the Virgin Mary,

Suffered under Pontius Pilate,

Was crucified, dead, and buried:

He descended into hell;

The third day he rose again from the dead;

He ascended into heaven,

And sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;

From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost;

The holy Catholick Church;

The Communion of Saints;

The Forgiveness of sins;

The Resurrection of the body,

And the Life everlasting.

Amen.

The Lord be with you.
All:  And with thy spirit.

Let us pray.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
All:  Christ, have mercy upon us.

Lord, have mercy upon us.

We say together        

Lord's Prayer

Our Father, which art in heaven,

Hallowed be thy Name,

Thy kingdom come,

Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven.

 Give us this day our daily bread;

And forgive us our trespasses,

As we forgive them that trespass against us;

And lead us not into temptation,

But deliver us from evil.

Amen.

We sing

O Lord, show thy mercy upon us.
All: And grant us thy salvation.

O Lord, save the Queen.
All: And mercifully hear us when we call upon thee.

Endue thy Ministers with righteousness.
All: And make thy chosen people joyful.

O Lord, save thy people.
All: And bless thine inheritance.

Give peace in our time, O Lord.
All: Because there is none other that fighteth for us, but only thou, O God.

O God, make clean our hearts within us.
All: And take not thy Holy Spirit from us.

 Collect for the Nineteenth Sunday after Trinity

O God, forasmuch as without you

we are not able to please you;

mercifully grant that your Holy Spirit

may in all things direct and rule our hearts;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

All: Amen. 

The Second Collect at Evening Prayer

O God, from whom all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works do proceed: Give unto thy servants that peace which the world cannot give; that both our hearts may be set to obey thy commandments, and also that by thee we being defended from the fear of our enemies may pass our time in rest and quietness; through the merits of Jesus Christ our Saviour.

All: Amen.

We Say he Third Collect, for Aid against all Perils

All: Lighten our darkness, we beseech thee, O Lord; and by thy great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night; for the love of thy only Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Amen.

 Hymn  – Fair Waved the Golden Corn 

1)     Fair waved the golden corn
in Canaan's pleasant land,
when, full of joy, some shining morn,
went forth the reaper-band.

 

2)     To God so good and great
their cheerful thanks they pour;
then carry to his temple-gate
the choicest of their store.

 

3)     Like Israel, Lord, we give
our earliest fruits to thee,
and pray that, long as we shall live,
we may thy children be.

 

4)     Thine is our youthful prime,
and life and all its powers;
be with us in our morning time,
and bless our evening hours.

 

5)     In wisdom let us grow,
as years and strength are given,
that we may serve thy Church below,
and join thy saints in heaven
.  (by John Hampden Gurney 

Prayers of Intercession

A General Thanksgiving

Almighty God, Father of all mercies, we thine unworthy servants do give thee most humble and hearty thanks for all thy goodness and loving-kindness to us and to all men; particularly to those who desire now to offer up their praises and thanksgivings for thy late mercies vouchsafed unto them.

 We bless thee for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all for thine inestimable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ, for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory. And we beseech thee, give us that due sense of all thy mercies, that our hearts may be un-feignedly thankful, and that we show forth thy praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives; by giving up ourselves to thy service, and by walking before thee in holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom with thee and the Holy Ghost be all honour and glory, world without end.

All: Amen.

Almighty God, Father of all mercies, we thine unworthy servants do give thee most humble and hearty thanks for all thy goodness and loving kindness to us and to all men.

We bless thee for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all for thine inestimable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ, for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory. And we beseech thee, give us that due sense of all thy mercies, that our hearts may be unfeigned thankful, and that we show forth thy praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives, by giving up ourselves to thy service, and by walking before thee in holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with thee and the Holy Ghost, be all honour and glory, world without end.

 All: Amen

 Lord God we thank you for this year's harvest for the bounty you have provided for us. We pray for all the farmers and growers who have worked so hard to provide for our needs, in what had been a season of extreme weather conditions, labour shortages and very varying crop yields.

 O God, the creator and preserver of all mankind, we pray for men of every race and in every kind of need; make you ways know on earth, Your saving power among all nations.

 Lord in your mercy

All: Hear our prayer

 We pray for all those working to bring about the best ways to reduce the impact of Climate Change and ask that you show us how best to reduce our own carbon footprint and thus help reduce some of the risk of the forecast extreme weather conditions.

We pray for the forthcoming Cop 26 Conference in Glasgow. That the nations of the world will not only say the right things but also take the action required to fulfil their commitments.

 Lord in your mercy

All: Hear our prayer

 We Pray for Elizabeth our Queen, for the leaders of the nations and for all in authority.

Heavenly father we bring before you the areas of unrest around the world. We also ask that you will guide those dealing with the energy crisis which is not only affecting big and small business, but especially those individual people with limited means and no savings to help them through the coming winter.

 Lord in your mercy

All: Hear our prayer

 Father God through your Son you asked us to take up our cross and follow you.

 We pray for the Church and its leaders, our bishops Christopher and John. We pray for those working on the Parish Profile, We know that you will help us through this difficult time and we pray for the right person to come and minister to us before too long.

 Lord in your mercy

All: Hear our prayer

 We pray for our community, the lonely, the sad, the housebound, and those who are sick. May they know that you are with them and will help them through the difficulties that face them.

 Lord in your mercy

All:  Hear our prayer

  In a few moments of silence we bring before you our own personal prayers and concerns.

 Lord in your mercy

All:  Hear our prayer

 Hear us as we remember those who have died in the faith of Christ especially we remember .....according to your promises, grant us with them a share in your eternal kingdom, for Jesus sake.

 All: Amen

 Almighty God we thank you for the gift of your holy word. May it be a lantern to our feet, a light to our paths and a strength to our lives, take us and use us to love and serve all men in the power of the Holy Spirit and in the name of your son Jesus Christ our Lord

 All:  Amen

Save us Lord, while we are awake, guard us while we are asleep. That awake we may watch with Christ and asleep may rest in peace.

 Almighty God you have given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplication to you and you have promised that when two or three are gathered together in your name you will grant their requests. Fulfil now, O Lord the desire and petitions of you servants as may be most expedient for them granting us in this world knowledge of your truth and in the world to come life everlasting.

 All: Amen

 We say the Grace.

 All: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,

and the Love of God,

be with you and remain with you always

Amen

 Hymn – 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.

Refrain:
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.

2)    We thank thee, then, O Father,

for all things bright and good,
the seed time and the harvest,
our life, our health, and food;
no gifts have we to offer,
for all thy love imparts,
and, what thou most desirest,
our humble, thankful hearts.

R

Sermon 

Today we celebrate Harvest Festival. As we heard it’s something that in the reading, started thousands of years ago.

To the Ancient Israelites celebrating God by giving part of  the best of their crops to the temple to  sustain the Levite priests and staff who, by the law of Moses, did not have land to farm and raise crops for their own living.

Harvest Festival is a time when we thank God for the plants and animals he put on earth as part of his creation for us to use and care for as guardians of his work.

·         The harvest is in,

·         The future is secured for the time being,

·         Winter will be OK while.

·         We can’t grow anything much to live on until the cycle begins all over again in the Spring

One of the things we celebrate at Harvest time is, not having to worry.

·         The harvest is in.

·         The near future is secure.

·         We will live.

·         We will eat.

·         All is secret.

·         We will keep warm – or will we???

There are so many “What if’s”.

If we let ourselves get into the habit of it, worry can ruin our lives. There are so many things that we can worry about.

All those, “what if’s” that pop up in our lives.

The seemingly difficult advice of Jesus,  not to worry about tomorrow.

But what about if all these “if’s” loom so large in our lives, which we worry to an extreme and become phobic. You will know of

Arachnophobia - fear of Spider

Claustrophobia - fear of being shut in small spaces

How about these – somewhat more esoteric:-

Peladophobia: fear of baldness and bald people.

Porphyrophobia: fear of the colour purple..

Levophobia: fear of objects on the left side of the body and in case you feel this is too elitist then there is Dextrophobia: fear of objects on the right side of the body.

By the time I’ve finished speaking tonight, some of you may be suffering from Calyprophobia: fear of obscure meanings in sermons and the like.

It seems to me that if you can name it, then you can have a phobia about it.

·         Whether we have an actual phobia - or just worry about whether people like you:-

·         Worry where your husband or children are and are they safe

·         Worry about whether you are going to do all right when you stand up to do a reading here in church …. 

We all know worry and in truth.

We all know that it is largely a waste of time and effort, but we still can’t shake it.

Worry can ruin our lives. Indeed scientists have shown that worrier live less long that other people.

I think it is right and proper to do a little defining here. It is natural and reasonable to have concern about things. We are concerned for our families.

We often “worry” about them in one way or another.

We are quite reasonably concerned if we can’t pay the rent or the mortgage and are likely to be turned out of our homes.

We worry about our kids – what could they be getting up to which is probably a revisiting of what we got up to at that age!

These are concerns borne out of love and care and I think are part of our Christian duty and concern for others.

But the other, more vague, more unreasonable, even more selfish concerns.

A well-known  American evangelist called Vance Havner, once said

 “Worry is like a rocking chair. It will give you something to do, but it won’t get you anywhere!”

·         So what can we do about worry?

·         Perhaps if we were more powerful we would not have to worry?

·         Perhaps if we were as powerful as Joe Biden or Boris Johnson, we wouldn’t have to worry? 

Hmmmm!

Did you know that Joseph Stalin, the dictator of Russia at the start of the twentieth Century, a ruthless man with a vast amount of power over the life and death of the Russian people has a phobia.

If power could deliver us from fear, then Joseph Stalin should have been fearless. Instead, this infamous Russian premier was afraid to go to bed.

He had seven different bedrooms. Each could be locked as tightly as a safe and In order to foil any would-be assassins, he slept in a different one each night.

Five chauffeur-driven limousines transported him wherever he went, each with curtains closed so no one would know which contained Stalin.

So deep-seated were his apprehensions that he employed a servant whose sole task was to monitor and protect his tea bags.

Ok - Maybe if we had more money we wouldn’t have to worry? 

An interesting article appeared in the Wall Street Journal. It was an interview of 6 top executives, all of them making 6 and 7 figure salaries. Huge amounts by anybody’s standards.

Now you are probably thinking what I thought,

"If I made even $100,000 a year, I’d be in great shape. No worries and no problems."

In the interview, each was asked:-

"What is your greatest fear?"

Each answered pretty much the same, using different words.

Their greatest fear was that they would not have enough.

When they were asked,

"How much is enough?" they always answered, "a little more."

It seems that the world’s goods never completely satisfy.

·         You find a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, and the price of gold falls.

·         You strike oil, & the oil market deteriorates.

·         Your ship comes in, & it sinks in the harbour.

It seems that everything in life is so uncertain. 

Like the story I heard about a lady strolling in the park, and a little frog came hopping up to her.

The frog looked up at her and said,

"If you kiss me, I’ll turn into a successful financier and look after all your investments and finances."

She looked at the frog for a moment, then reached down, picked up the frog, put it in her pocket and then kept on walking.

Another stroller who had seen and heard everything, asked her,

"Lady, I’m curious. Why didn’t you kiss the frog?"

She answered,

"Well, the way the world’s finances are at the moment, a talking frog is worth a whole lot more than a financier!" 

A Heart That Sits Down

Yes, money is important in our lives but it isn’t the answer to our worries.

Power and influence are fine things if used for good purposes but not an essential of life.

We don’t need to worry if we lack these things.

This man was always worrying. He worried about his children, his job, his wife, his health. One day a friend of this man noted that instead of his usual furrowed brow and frantic actions, he was extremely calm and peaceful.

 "Why are you so calm?, he asked. "You always worry about every-thing. What happened?"

The former worrier replied,

“I just hired a man to do the worrying for me."

“Well, how much are you paying him? “" His friend inquired.

 "A thousand dollars a week," the man replied. "

“ A thousand a week?  You can’t afford a thousand dollars a week."

The worrier responded,

 "That’s his problem!" 

Neither money nor power is the answers to our worries.

So what does Jesus have to say about Worry?

How does this bird feed himself?

·         Does he have to get out a and start digging?

·         Does he have to get out his watering can and water his crops?

·         Does he have to queue at Tesco?

"No" says Jesus, “He doesn’t have to worry. God provides and feeds him

Think of a flower. If a flower wants to look stylish and fashionable, does it have to make its own clothes?

Does it have to go to Harrods and buy the latest fashion accessories?

No says Jesus.

It doesn’t have to worry. God provides the beauty and shape of its petals free of charge. 

So why do we persist with our worries?

If God looks after a mere bird or a mere flower, how much more will he look after you and me? 

With the state of the world we may wonder at God’s provision, even at this time of celebration.

I’m sure you all know the hymn:– “He’s got the whole world in his hands”

Whatever it is, IT DEPENDS WHOSE HANDS THE WORLD IS IN!

A football in my hands is worth about £8.

A football in the hands of Pele, Ronaldo or Messi. is worth millions! 

It depends whose hands it’s in.

A cricket ball in my hands is worth about £5.

A cricket ball in Joe Root’s or Ben Stokes hands is worth millions! 

It depends whose hands it’s in

A tennis racket is useless in my hands

A tennis racket in Emma Raducanu’s hands Wins the American Open! 

It depends whose hands it’s in

A rod in my hands will keep away a wild animal!

A rod in Moses’ hands will part the mighty sea! 

It depends whose hands it’s in

A sling shot in my hands is a kid’s toy

A sling shot in David’s hand is a mighty weapon!. 

It depends whose hands it’s in

Two fish and 5 loaves of bread in my hands is a couple of fish sandwiches.

Two fish and 5 loaves of bread in God’s hands will feed thousands! 

It depends whose hands the world is in

Nails in my hands might produce a birdhouse or a shed

Nails in Jesus Christ’s hands will produce salvation for the entire world!. 

It depends whose hands the world in

As we see it now, everything so much depends whose hands the problems is in!

Does it not make the perfect sense to put our concerns, our worries, our fears, our hopes, our dreams, our families and our relationships in God’s hands, because in his hands we have the promise of every consolation in this life and a future life in eternity in his direct and loving care in the realms of heaven.

We should put our hopes and aspirations into the hand of someone we can trust to the ultimate degree.

·         Worry will make us ill.

·         Worry will do us no good. 

But if we trust Jesus and place things into his hands worry becomes pointless, even though we may lapse occasionally.

As Paul Fritz says:

“I am inwardly fashioned for faith, not for fear. Fear is not my native land; faith is. I am so made that worry and anxiety are sand in the machinery of life; faith is the oil. I live better by faith and confidence than by fear, doubt and anxiety. In anxiety and worry, my being is gasping for breath, these are not my native air. But in faith and confidence, I breathe freely, these are my native air.

Karl Barth says

“Courage is fear that has said its prayers”. 

I love Roger Hargreaves “Mr Men” books.

Although they were not written with any scriptural intent at the time, they do so clearly illustrate the variety of mankind in general.

Take Mr Greedy for instance. Here is a pretty objectionable fellow at the start of the story but at the end, due to the circumstances that have befallen him in the book, he is a changed man- he lives differently, he thinks differently, he is transformed.

Thinking of Jesus parable of sowing the seed, plainly the seed that had fallen on the once objectionable Mr Greedy had fallen on good, nourishing soil and the seed of goodness and Godliness had taken root and thrived within him.

Not so Mr Mean. He was so mean that one Christmas his present to his brother was a lump of coal!

He too was turned from his miserly ways for a while but there is an undertone that he might relapse and return to his old ways. The seed planted in him started to grow but the underlying soil of his faith was not strong enough or deep enough to sustain the healing growth for very long.

What kind of soil am I?

What kind of soil are you?

 What kind of soil will we chose to be?

God, through His Holy Spirit is ready to transform us, so that we can become a changed Mr Man, or a changed Little Miss,

Good soil, hearing the word, retaining it, persevering, and producing a crop.

We are celebrating the safe gathering in of an earthly crop here this evening. 

Let us pray in our hearts that our own soil is good and deep and fertile and that the seed God sows in us so that a fine crop of God’s best gifts grows in us to share with everyone we meet.

Let us pray.  

Heavenly Father, we hear your word and read of your love for this world. Such a love, that you were prepared to send your own Son among us.

We pray that you will open our hearts to the seeds of your kingdom that you sow among us that we become strong members of you church with roots deep and firm in the good soil and our visible parts above the soil a blessing and thanksgiving for your unfailing love and trust in us to sow and reap your harvest here on earth.    

Amen.

Hymn – To Thee, O Lord, Our Hearts We Raise 

1)    To thee, O Lord, our hearts we raise
in hymns of adoration,
to thee bring sacrifice of praise
with shouts of exultation.
Bright robes of gold the fields adorn,
the hills with joy are ringing,
the valleys stand so thick with corn
that even they are singing.
 

2)     And now, on this our festal day,
thy bounteous hand confessing,
Upon thine altar, Lord, we lay
the first fruits of thy blessing.
By thee the souls of men are fed
with gifts of grace supernal;
thou, who dost give us earthly bread,
give us the bread eternal.
 

3)    We bear the burden of the day,
and often toil seems dreary;
but labor ends with sunset ray,
and rest comes for the weary.
May we, the angel reaping over,
stand at the last accepted,
Christ's golden sheaves, forevermore
to garners bright elected.
 

4)    O blessèd is that land of God
where saints abide forever,
where golden fields spread fair and broad,
where flows the crystal river;
the strains of all its holy throng
with ours today are blending;
thrice blessèd is that harvest song
which never hath an ending     .
( by W. Chatterton Dix 1837 to 1898) 

All: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with us all evermore. (2 Corinthians 13).

Amen.

Hymn – Now Thank We All Our God 

1)    Now thank we all our God
with heart and hands and voices,
who wondrous things has done,
in whom his world rejoices;
who from our mothers' arms
has blessed us on our way
with countless gifts of love,
and still is ours today.
 

2)    O may this bounteous God
through all our life be near us,
with ever joyful hearts
and blessed peace to cheer us,
to keep us in his grace,
and guide us when perplexed,
and free us from all ills
of this world in the next.
 

3)     All praise and thanks to God
the Father now be given,
the Son and Spirit blest,
who reign in highest heaven
the one eternal God,
whom heaven and earth adore;
for thus it was, is now,
and shall be evermore.
                               (by Martin Rinkart, 1640s)

 

The Dismissal

 Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

 All:  In the name of Christ.  

Amen.

 

 

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Flower Festival 2021 Report

Over the many years we have always been aware of God’s guidance during our Flower Festivals. This has been especially true this year. There have been so many uncertainties- Would it been permitted? Would people come? Yes it was allowed an...

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We are waiting for a new appointment. We ask your prayers for this process.

Unfortunately Rev. John is no longer with us and we are without a vicar at present,  but the church is still here

Please contact one of the wardens

Margaret Antill 01827 874520 or  077889 17822

Moreen Freestone 024 7638 1833

Diana Kealey 024 7639 5089

Margaret Oliver 01455 822822

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