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Thanking the Lord of the harvest

As we are in the midst of the Harvest Festival season, when many churches hold services of harvest thanksgiving, Kevin Gotts shares a harvest-time tale with us.

Tucked away in central Norfolk, Clive and Beth North have run a medium sized farm for many years.  It is hard work. Standing by his combine harvester, Clive wipes his brow, “That’s the finish of our corn harvest, the earliest ever for us.”  Beth quips, “The 7th of August.  Maybe we can take a holiday?”
 
It’s now mid-September, a knock on the door and Rev Blyth is invited into the farmhouse.  He enquires of the harvest and yields. The response is very favourable and Beth a regular at St James agrees to help with the annual Harvest Thanksgiving service.
 
Clive by nature, stands back, a reticent man, a real grafter often unnoticed by the dormitory nature of the village. And somewhat reluctantly is ushered into the parish church for the Harvest Festival.
 
Rev Blyth spoke about Jesus who, when he saw the crowd, had compassion on them because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. “Then he said to his disciples, The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.  Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (Matthew 9: 35-38).
 
wheat 750ATThe vicar explained that the harvest is the world and that many people are ready to give their lives to Jesus if someone would show them how. Jesus commands the church to pray that people will respond to this need for workers. “Often when we pray for something, God answers our prayers by using us. A theme we have been praying for at St James this year. So be prepared for God to use you to show another person the way to him.”
 
Clive was getting quite choked up by this harvest style message, especially of our need for Jesus who has compassion on harassed and needy people. Something then became clearer, as he listened to a teenager from the youth group, leading prayers:
 
“God of the 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 the harvest, feed us, prune us, harvest us that our lives might bring glory to you.  In Jesus’ name.”
 
The photos are courtesy of Kevin Gotts.


KevinGotts640Kevin Gotts is a South Norfolk photographer. He contributes regularly to the Good News for Norwich and Norfolk newspaper published by Network Norfolk.
 


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