Summary: Thank you God and some reflections on what we can do
Talk about Harvest
How to make bread: Trick
How often do we say Thank you God, when we eat a slice of bread or toast
Harvest is the time when we thank God for all his provision for us
1. Our food
We take so much of our food for granted – bread, meat, vegetables and drink
When we look at the wonderful variety of food we have in the shops – we should find ourselves saying, “Thank you God!”
Q. Can you tell me what fruit you have seen in the shops recently?
A. Apples, pears, bananas kiwis.
Q And what vegetables have you eaten recently
A. Peas, leeks, cauliflower
2. The beauty of our countryside
Harvest is also a time to give thanks for the land on which our farmers grow their crops
But the countryside is also very beautiful too
My wife Maddy is mad keen on sunsets – and coming back from Rutland Water the other day she pointed out a beautiful sunset to me
And when we look at such sunset, we should say “Thank you God”.
When I first went to Switzerland, I looked at the wonderful scenery - and was amazed at what God had created
“Thank you, God.”
3. The rain
In England we moan about the rain, yet in parts of Africa, like Somalia and Ethiopia, they haven’t seen rain for years – and their crops all die
Do we give thanks for the rain? Because without it we could not have the food we do have
4. Creation itself
Very early on in the Bible we read about the creation of the world, and the creation of all that we see.
In the first chapter of the Bible we read this: “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good” (Gen 1:31).
God made everything good, including the most amazing and intricate part of his creation – you and me!
Isn’t a tiny new born baby just so amazing!
I remember when my first son Jonathan was born. I marvelled at God’s creation.
And I was petrified of dropping him
The delicate design behind human life convinces me that we are not accidents!
4. But we have made a mess of God’s wonderful creation
But what a mess we humans have made of God’s beautiful world!
ii) forests wiped out,
iii) species of animals extinct because of human actions,
iv) a dangerously thin ozone layer, and
v) hundreds of years of war which still continues today.
This isn’t what God created the world for
What a mess we’ve made of God’s beautiful world.
Now although we have messed it up and still mess it up God has not left us alone to get on with it!
He sent Jesus into the world to show us how he wants us to behave towards one another.
God sent Jesus into the world to show us how much he loves us; and
God sent Jesus into the world to show us that he – God – is willing to die for us in order that we can come to know God.
God loves us and loves his world that much!
That is Good News!
6. The Harvest Festival
The Harvest Festival Service is the oldest Christian festivals.
It goes back a good 4,000 years.
In the Old Testament, God told his people to celebrate three important festivals.
These were festivals everyone HAD to attend
6. 1. The first festival was the Feast of Passover.
It was usually held in April each year – at the beginning of the harvest and reminded them of their escape from Egypt under Moses.
6. 2. The second festival was the Feast of Weeks or Harvest,
It was at the Feast of Weeks that the Jews gave thanks to God for their crop.
This festival occurred at the end of the barley harvest.
6. 3. And the third festival was the Feast of Tabernacles,
This was held after the grape and grain harvest was over.
All three of these festivals reminded them of God’s blessing on his people.
7. The Harvest Festival today
At our Harvest festival we give thanks for God’s wonderful provision.
And yet there is also something we can do
We can share our blessings with others.
1. Have you ever thought of having a class project where you get money together to buy some Christmas presents for children who are less fortunate than you are.
When I was in New Romney, we did this by collecting shoeboxes and filling them with gifts for children in Romania
2. Raising money by going without
Or have you thought of going without a meal one day before the end of term