Sunday 11th Harvest

13 Oct 20

 Our Opening Hymn - Come, Ye Thankful People, Come, (Mission Praise 106)

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 unto His praise to yield;
Wheat and tares together sown,
Unto 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 His harvest home;
From His 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 His garner evermore.
 

4)    Even so, Lord, quickly come,
Bring Thy final harvest home;
Gather Thou Thy people in,
Free from sorrow, free from sin,
There, forever purified,
In Thy garner to abide;
Come, with all Thine angels come,
Raise the glorious harvest home.
   (by Henry Alford, 1844) 

Words of thanksgiving 

Blessed are you, sovereign God, gentle and merciful, creator of heaven and earth.

Your word brought light out of darkness.

In Jesus Christ you proclaim good news to the poor, liberty to captives, sight to the

Blind and freedom for the oppressed.

Daily your Spirit renews the face of the earth, bringing life, wholeness and peace.

In the renewal of our lives you make known your heavenly glory.

Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit: 

All:   Blessed be God for ever.

Preparation

O Lord, open our lips

All:     and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Give us the joy of your saving help

All:     and sustain us with your life-giving Spirit. 

The minister says 

We have come together in the name of Christ

to offer our praise and thanksgiving,

to hear and receive God’s holy word,

to pray for the needs of the world,

and to seek the forgiveness of our sins,

that by the power of the Holy Spirit

we may give ourselves to the service of God. 

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 William C. Dix 1864)

Confession and Absolution 

Jesus says, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is close at hand.’

So, let us turn away from our sin and turn to Christ,

confessing our sins in penitence and faith. 

Our Lord Jesus Christ said:

The first commandment is this:

‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is the only Lord.

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,

with all your soul, with all your mind,

and with all your strength.’

The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’

There is no other commandment greater than these.

On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. 

All:   Amen. Lord, have mercy. 

When we cry out to the Lord in our trouble,

All:     he will deliver us from our distress. 

God will bring us out of darkness 

All:     and out of the shadow of death. 

Come, let us return to the Lord and say: 

All:     Lord our God,

in our sin we have avoided your call.

Our love for you is like a morning cloud,

like the dew that goes away early.

Have mercy on us;

deliver us from judgement;

bind up our wounds and revive us;

in Jesus Christ our Lord.     Amen                       (Hosea Chap: 6) 

May the Father of all mercies

cleanse us from our sins,

and restore us in his image

to the praise and glory of his name,

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All:      Amen.

Canticle

 All:     Blessed are you, Our Lord Jesus Christ, for ever and ever: 

The wilderness and the dry land shall rejoice, 

the desert shall blossom and burst into song. 

They shall see the glory of the Lord, 

the majesty of our God. 

Strengthen the weary hands, 

and make firm the feeble knees. 

Say to the anxious, ‘Be strong, fear not,   

your God is coming with judgement, 

coming with judgement to save you.’ 

Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened, 

and the ears of the deaf unstopped; 

Then shall the lame leap like a hart, 

and the tongue of the dumb sing for joy. 

For waters shall break forth in the wilderness, 

and streams in the desert; 

The ransomed of the Lord shall return with singing, 

with everlasting joy upon their heads. 

Joy and gladness shall be theirs,

and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.           (Isaiah 35.1,2b–4a,4c–6,10) 

Glory to the Father and to the Son

and to the Holy Spirit;

as it was in the beginning is now

and shall be for ever. Amen. 

Special Collect

Lord God of time and eternity, we thank you that our times are in your hands.

In our journeying with you, may we never lose our sense of direction,

never lose sight of the landmark towards which we travel. 

Should cloud or rain obscure our vision, may we draw closer to you,

so that our feet may tread in your footsteps, your words be our encouragement,

and your love our protection against the storms that assail us.

Pour upon us those gifts we need to work with you that, filled with your Spirit, your church may serve you here with strength and joy.

Through Jesus Christ who is alive and reigns with you.

All: Amen 

Hymn - Now thank we all our God (Mission Praise 486) 

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) 

Our First Reading is Exodus Chap: 16 

The Manna and quail

1.    The whole Israelite community set out from Elim and came to the Desert of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had come out of Egypt.  

2.      In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron.  

3.     The Israelites said to them, ‘If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt! There we sat round pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.’ 

4.     Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions.  

5.     On the sixth day they are to prepare what they bring in, and that is to be twice as much as they gather on the other days.’ 

6.     So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, ‘In the evening you will know that it was the Lord who brought you out of Egypt, 

7.     and in the morning you will see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your grumbling against him. Who are we, that you should grumble against us?’  

8.     Moses also said, ‘You will know that it was the Lord when he gives you meat to eat in the evening and all the bread you want in the morning, because he has heard your grumbling against him. Who are we? You are not grumbling against us, but against the Lord.’ 

9.     Then Moses told Aaron, ‘Say to the entire Israelite community, “Come before the Lord, for he has heard your grumbling.”’ 

10.  While Aaron was speaking to the whole Israelite community, they looked towards the desert, and there was the glory of the Lord appearing in the cloud. 

11.  The Lord said to Moses,  

12.  ‘I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them, “At twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread. 

13. .Then you will know that I am the Lord your God.”’ 

Praise the Lord, my soul.

All: Praise the Lord. 

 Hymn - Yes, God is Good (Mission Praise 786)

1)    Yes, God is good; in earth and sky,
From ocean depths and spreading wood,
Ten thousand voices seem to cry,
“God made us all, and God is good.”
 

2)    The sun that keeps his trackless way
And downward pours his golden flood,
Night’s sparkling hosts, all seem to say,
In accents clear, that God is good.
 

3)    The merry birds prolong the strain,
Their song with every spring renewed;
And balmy air, and falling rain,
Each softly whispers, “God is good.”
 

4)    I hear it in the rushing breeze;
The hills that have for ages stood,
The echoing sky and roaring seas,
All swell the chorus, God is good.
 

5)    Yes, God is good, all nature says,
By God’s own hand with speech endued;
And man, in louder notes of praise,
Should sing for joy that God is good.
 

6)    For all Thy gifts we bless Thee, Lord,
But chiefly for our heavenly food;
Thy pardoning grace, Thy quickening word,
These prompt our song, that God is good.
(by John Hampden Gurney 1802 to 1862) 

Our Second Reading is from - Exodus Chap 16 Vers: 13 to 23

13.  That evening quail came and covered the camp, and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. 

14. When the dew was gone, thin flakes like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor. 

15. When the Israelites saw it, they said to each other, ‘What is it?’ For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, ‘It is the bread the Lord has given you to eat.

16. This is what the Lord has commanded: “Everyone is to gather as much as they need. Take an omer for each person you have in your tent.”’

17. The Israelites did as they were told; some gathered much, some little. 

18. And when they measured it by the omer, the one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little. Everyone had gathered just as much as they needed.

19. Then Moses said to them, ‘No one is to keep any of it until morning.’

20. However, some of them paid no attention to Moses; they kept part of it until morning, but it was full of maggots and began to smell. So Moses was angry with them.

21. Each morning everyone gathered as much as they needed, and when the sun grew hot, it melted away. 

22. On the sixth day, they gathered twice as much – two omers for each person – and the leaders of the community came and reported this to Moses.

23. He said to them, ‘This is what the Lord commanded: “Tomorrow is to be a day of sabbath rest, a holy sabbath to the Lord. So, bake what you want to bake and boil what you want to boil. Save whatever is left and keep it until morning.”’

This is the word of the Lord     

All: Thanks be to God 

An Additional Reading is from - Psalm 65

8.  The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders;
    where morning dawns, where evening fades,
    you call forth songs of joy.
 

9.  You care for the land and water it;
    you enrich it abundantly.
The streams of God are filled with water
    to provide the people with grain,
    for so you have ordained it.

10.  You drench its furrows and level its ridges;
    you soften it with showers and bless its crops.

11.  You crown the year with your bounty,
    and your carts overflow with abundance.
 

Rev John’s Talk  

Reading today: Exodus Chap: 16 verses 1 to 23 

Harvest is a time to focus on 3 things: 

·         Provision

·         Productivity

·         Production. 

We see how these relate, very much, to how God makes these 3 things possible, so that our needs as human beings are supplied that we might live comfortable, satisfying and fruitful lives on earth. 

Consider verses from sheet about Provision/Productivity/Production

 In our age of modern technology, instant availability and access to all kinds of global resources to meet our daily wants and needs, we can lose touch with what cost is involved to produce all that we have.  It can be easy to view harvests past in a very sentimental way, a bit like Christmas, before supermarkets dominated the supply chains.  However, today so much is taken for granted as our daily wants and needs are sourced from all around the world.

 This morning we have the opportunity to acknowledge God and all the things we have to be thankful for, in 3 ways: 

1.  We have come to REJOICE in God’s provisions for our lives. 

When we hear the story of the Israelites starting their journey in the wilderness after their great deliverance from slavery in Egypt in Exodus 16, it’s not long before they start grumbling. 

Perhaps we might forgive them a little for this as they are in a wilderness and they have to keep moving on through it. 

It’s a place totally unknown and foreign to them – a bit like us today with Covid19.  However, our provisions humanly speaking are mostly there without the same challenges that the Israelites had. 

However, despite the grumblings, God provided the food for the Israelites in a miraculous way. 

Today, there are quite a few people who are grumbling like the Israelites and it could be said that an ungrateful heart is a selfish heart. 

When we actually consider how much we have in life today, we have so much to be thankful for. 

OXFAM Article

The world produces 17% more food per person today than 30 years ago, but close to a billion people go to sleep hungry every night. 

The problem is that many people in the world don’t have sufficient land to grow, or income to purchase, enough food.

Hunger is not a random condition. Women, children, indigenous people, and other minorities are living with the crushing reality of hunger.

Climate change is rapidly pushing the world’s poorest people – those least responsible for it – to the limits of subsistence.

Oxfam works with women and men around the world trying to address the root cause of this problem: inequality.

·         925 million people do not have enough food to eat —more than the populations of Canada, USA, and the EU.

·         Women make up a little over half of the world's population, but they account for over 60% of the world’s hungry. 

·         98% of the world’s hungry live in developing countries.

·         Asia and the Pacific Region is home to over half the world’s population and nearly two thirds of the world’s hungry people.

·         65 %t of the world's hungry live in only seven countries: India, China, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan and Ethiopia

The Gospel of Matthew Chap: 25

35. “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 

36.I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was ill and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”

37. ‘Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 

38. When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?

39. When did we see you ill or in prison and go to visit you?”

40.‘The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me

Even though we have so much choice of breads, for example, the Israelites had the best bread of all given to them – manna, the bread of heaven that could not be produced by human hands.

This is emphasized in the wonderful hymn, ‘Guide me O Thou Great Jehovah’  

1)   Guide me, O thou great Jehovah,

pilgrim through this barren land;

I am weak, but thou art mighty;

hold me with your powerful hand.

Bread of heaven, bread of heaven,

feed me now and evermore,

feed me now and evermore. 

As we have been considering various psalms over these months since our churches opened in August, Psalm 78 asked the question,

‘Can God spread a table in the wilderness?’ and the answer is ‘Of course He can’! 

2.  We have come to REMEMBER God’s great acts of salvation 

It is in one of the least read books in the Bible, perhaps for obvious reasons, the book of Leviticus tells us of all, that the feast the Israelites celebrated through the year. 

There were seven, of which a number had to do with Harvest. But really all of the seven festivals were expressions of how God had saved and delivered His people. 

When we came through this pandemic, however long it may be, but we will, how many will be giving thanks to God for their deliverance? 

3.    We have to RELY on God for His continued provision and protection 

We have to trust Him day by day for our provisions. It’s very telling in this journey that the Israelites had to travel through the wilderness of how the provisions were distributed – and it’s a good motto for living.

It is found in Exodus Chap: 16:- 

16. This is what the Lord has commanded: “Everyone is to gather as much as they need. Take an omer for each person you have in your tent.”’ 

17The Israelites did as they were told; some gathered much, some little. 

18. And when they measured it by the omer, the one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little. Everyone had gathered just as much as they needed. 

Not too much, not too little, just enough 

It was those who took more and those who did not trust the Lord to provide, by keeping the Sabbath day, that did not receive God’s blessing and food from heaven.

A time of Silence   …. 

Now we say together: 

The Creed

All:   I believe in God, the Father almighty,

creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,

who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,

born of the Virgin Mary,

suffered under Pontius Pilate,

was crucified, died, and was buried;

he descended to the dead.

On the third day he rose again;

he ascended into heaven,

he is seated at the right hand of the Father,

and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,

the holy catholic Church,

the communion of saints,

the forgiveness of sins,

the resurrection of the body,

and the life everlasting.

Amen. 

A time of Silence   …. 

Prayers of Intercession

In the power of the Spirit, and in union with Christ, we pray to the Lord: 

A Harvest Prayer

Creator God, provider of all
we bring our thanks today.

Praise you Lord

All: From whom all blessings flow  

Creator God, for daily bread,
and all who work
to bring your harvest home,
we bring our thanks today.

Praise you Lord

All: From whom all blessings flow 

For those whose harvest is poor,
whose crops have withered,
water tainted, children starve,
help those who bring relief
and bestow on us
an unaccustomed generosity,
that all might share from your garden
and all might sing your praise.

Praise you Lord

All: From whom all blessings flow

We are moulded, each one of us,
in the image of God,
and within our souls there is a fingerprint
none can erase.
We pray for those who have no regard
for anyone but self. 

Praise you Lord

All: From whom all blessings flow

For those who put no value on human life;
For nations and individuals who abuse and kill.

We pray for lives lost,
families torn apart by war and division
lost and lonely, homeless, refugees,
hungry, afraid.

Praise you Lord

All: From whom all blessings flow

We pray for livelihoods and possessions
destroyed in an instant,
for machinery shattered,
livelihoods ruined.    

Praise you Lord 

All: From whom all blessings flow

We pray for rescuers
finding survivors in places of destruction
alongside bodies,
courageous,
undaunted,
hopeful.   

Praise you Lord

All: From whom all blessings flow

We pray for recovery
in the years to come,
for restoration,
generosity,
healing, closure.  

Praise you Lord

All: From whom all blessings flow

Prayers Nearer to home:

Holy God, in whom we live and move and have our being,

we make our prayer to you, saying,

Lord, hear us.    

All:   Lord, graciously hear us. 

For the peace and stability of all peoples

and for the leaders of nations and the church worldwide

grant the assurance of your presence, your wisdom and your peace. 

Lord, hear us.  

All:   Lord, graciously hear us.

Grant your healing grace to all who are sick, anxious or fearful

that they may be made whole in body, mind and spirit.

We pray especially for ……. 

Lord, hear us.   

All:   Lord, graciously hear us.

Grant to all who work wisdom and skill, sympathy and patience;

Lord, hear us.   

All:   Lord, graciously hear us.

Grant to the unemployed good health, provision and perseverance 

Lord, hear us.  

 All:   Lord, graciously hear us.

Sustain and support the elderly and the bereaved

and lift up all who are brought low. 

Lord, hear us.  

All:   Lord, graciously hear us. 

Hear us, Lord of life.  

All:   Lord, graciously hear us.

We say together: 

The 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.

For thine is the kingdom,

The power, and the glory,

For ever and ever. 

 Amen 

Closing Hymn - Great is Thy Faithfulness (Mission Praise 200)

1) Great is thy faithfulness, O God my Father; 
there is no shadow of turning with thee; 
thou changest not, thy compassions, they fail not; 
as thou hast been thou forever wilt be. 

Refrain: 
Great is thy faithfulness! 
Great is thy faithfulness! 
Morning by morning new mercies I see:
all I have needed thy hand hath provided--
Great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

2) Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
sun, moon, and stars in their courses above
join with all nature in manifold witness 
to thy great faithfulness, mercy, and love.

Refrain: 
Great is thy faithfulness! 
Great is thy faithfulness! 
Morning by morning new mercies I see:
all I have needed thy hand hath provided--
Great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

3) Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth, 
thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide, 
strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Refrain: 
Great is thy faithfulness! 
Great is thy faithfulness! 
Morning by morning new mercies I see:
all I have needed thy hand hath provided--
Great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!
 

Closing Harvest Prayer 

God of harvest,
Gardener supreme,
you place us at the centre,
feed us, equip us and,
having provided for us,
look to a different harvest,
a fruitfulness of lives
in service to you,
and others.
God of harvest,
feed us,
prune us,
harvest us,

That our lives

Might bring glory to You. 

All:  Amen

We say together: 

The Grace

All: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ

and the love of God

and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit

be with you all,

ever more..

Amen

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord. 

All: In the name of Christ,

Amen

 

 

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Personal Profile
Rev. John Langlands

 Rev. John Langanlds 

It is with great pleasure that I would like to welcome you to St Laurence.  Frances, my wife, and I have received a very warm welcome ourselves, so you will not be disappointed when you visit St Laurence.  I am also the Curate of the other churches in Ansley and Arley – St John’s, St Michael’s and St Wilfrid’s.

Being in a rural and farming area in the north part of Coventry Diocese is like coming home for us.  A number of years ago I pastored a church in rural Norfolk which was mainly surrounded by arable farms with some pigs and chickens.  The strong sense of community life was something very special.  This should be particularly valued in these days when many folk live such individual, separate and often lonely lives. 

We have just had hot off the press a visiting card which I hope reflects what our church stands for: ‘You will not walk alone.  Together we are with you on life’s journey’.  Over these next weeks, months and years, I hope we can get to know you better and that you will find Frances and myself not just ‘churchy’ people but friends as well, who enjoy life and plenty of laughter!

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