The Third Sunday Of Creationtide – Harvest Thanksgiving
For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land with flowing streams, with springs and underground waters welling up in valleys and hills, a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey, a land where you may eat bread without scarcity, where you will lack nothing, a land whose stones are iron and from whose hills you may mine copper. You shall eat your fill and bless the Lord your God for the good land that he has given you.
Take care that you do not forget the Lord your God, by failing to keep his commandments, his ordinances, and his statutes, which I am commanding you today. When you have eaten your fill and have built fine houses and live in them, and when your herds and flocks have multiplied, and your silver and gold is multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied, then do not exalt yourself, forgetting the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, who led you through the great and terrible wilderness, an arid waste-land with poisonous snakes and scorpions. He made water flow for you from flint rock, and fed you in the wilderness with manna that your ancestors did not know, to humble you and to test you, and in the end to do you good. Do not say to yourself, ‘My power and the might of my own hand have gained me this wealth.’ But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, so that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your ancestors, as he is doing today.
Refrain: The Lord has indeed done great things for us.
1 When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
then were we like those who dream.
2 Then was our mouth filled with laughter
and our tongue with songs of joy.
3 Then said they among the nations,
‘The Lord has done great things for them.’
4 The Lord has indeed done great things for us,
and therefore we rejoiced. [R]
5 Restore again our fortunes, O Lord,
as the river beds of the desert.
6 Those who sow in tears
shall reap with songs of joy.
7 Those who go out weeping, bearing the seed,
will come back with shouts of joy,
bearing their sheaves with them. [R]
1 Timothy 6.6-10
Of course, there is great gain in godliness combined with contentment; for we brought nothing into the world, so that we can take nothing out of it; but if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these. But those who want to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains.
‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, “What will we eat?” or “What will we drink?” or “What will we wear?” For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Lord of the harvest,
The Fourth Sunday of Creationtide
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
Refrain: The Lord has made known his salvation.
1 Sing to the Lord a new song, ♦
for he has done marvellous things.
2 His own right hand and his holy arm ♦
have won for him the victory.
3 The Lord has made known his salvation; ♦
his deliverance has he openly shown in the sight of the nations.
4 He has remembered his mercy and faithfulness
towards the house of Israel, ♦
and all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. [R]
5 Sound praises to the Lord, all the earth; ♦
break into singing and make music.
6 Make music to the Lord with the lyre, ♦
with the lyre and the voice of melody.
7 With trumpets and the sound of the horn ♦
sound praises before the Lord, the King. [R]
8 Let the sea thunder and all that fills it, ♦
the world and all that dwell upon it.
9 Let the rivers clap their hands ♦
and let the hills ring out together before the Lord,
for he comes to judge the earth.
10 In righteousness shall he judge the world ♦
and the peoples with equity. [R]
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’ it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.
I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labour pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
Jesus also said, ‘The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.’
He also said, ‘With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.’
O God, whose beauty is beyond our imagining
St. Edmund's Church, Cross Hill, Sedgefield, Stockton-On-Tees TS21 3AT
St. Catherine’s Church, Front Street, Fishburn, Stockton-On-Tees TS21 4AA
St. Michael’s Church, Bishop Middleham, County Durham DL17 9AF
St. Mary Magdalene’s Church, Trimdon Village, Trimdon Station TS29 6PG
St. Alban’s Church, Trimdon Grange, Trimdon Station TS29 6HB