Fall / Harvest and Sharing


prayer table that includes symbols of harvesting and sharing
“As long as the world endures, seedtime and harvest shall not cease.” (Gen. 8:22) Spring seems to be that time for planting and summer for watching what was planted grow into full bloom and rich fruit. Now as fall comes, it is time to harvest what has been growing, to be thankful for the harvest, and to generously share the fruits.
Hymn Suggestions
Come, Ye Thankful People, Come (ST. GEORGE’S WINDSOR)
For the Fruits of this Creation (AR HYD Y NOS)
For the Beauty of the Earth (DIX)
Praise the Lord, Ye Heavens (HYMN TO JOY)
Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow (OLD HUNDRETH)
Any hymn that has to do with harvesting, being grateful or sharing
Reader One: 
This blessed man had begun his course under the illustrious Lord Pope Innocent III, and he happily completed it under his successor, Honorius. Just as the former, as has been said above, agreed with the man of God in all things concerning the institution of the Order, so did the latter, as is touched upon in the Rule, later kindly confirm all things for the same saint. They were happily succeeded by the Lord Pope Gregory, who, of course, while established in a lesser office, had defended the planting of this same religious Order from the out-of-season onslaught of those plucking it. He had nourished it until it took root more firmly, and just like a faithful gardener had encouraged it to a manifold harvest, with the help of God.

From “The Life of St. Francis,” by Julian of Speyer, page 418, XIII, #2  in Francis Assisi: Early Documents Vol. 1, edited by Regis J. Armstrong, OFM Cap., J.A. Wayne Hellmann, OFM Conv., William J. Short, OFM. New York: New City Press, 1999. Used with permission.

All:     “As long as the world endures, seedtime and harvest shall not cease.” (Gen. 8:22) 
Reader Two:            
“Do you not say, ‘Four months more, then comes the harvest? But I tell you, look around you, and see how the fields are ripe for harvesting. The reaper is already receiving wages and is gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’  I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.” (John 4:35–38)
All       “As long as the world endures, seedtime and harvest shall not cease.” (Gen. 8:22)
Reader Three: 
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.” (Mark 4:26-29)
All       “As long as the world endures, seedtime and harvest shall not cease.” (Gen. 8:22)
Reader Four: 
            cornstalks once tall and green
            are now brown, dried, surrendered,
            ears of corn with full kernels
            shaped and turned golden
            in a summer of sunshine and rain.
            they fill to fullness wide wagons,
            falling now into tall round bins,
            copious in their generosity
            abundant in unrestrained harvest.
            this plentitude of the land
            signals my own gathering of grain
            as I turn to the bounty
            found in the field o my heart.
            all those daily gifts
            that grace my humble path,
            come tumbling forth,
            like a corn harvest
            of golden goodness.
            they are my bin-full
            my thanksgiving treasure,
            my wide wagon of richness.
            they are my sureness
            that the gold of the harvest
            still hurrahs.

“Thanksgiving” excerpted from page 214 of Out of the Ordinary by Joyce Rupp, © 2000. Used with permission from the publisher, Ave Maria Press. Notre Dame, Indiana 46556, www.avemariapress.com.

Reflection and Sharing:
Which of the readings speak to you or your harvesting at this time? What symbol would express these thoughts?
As long as the world exists there will be a time for planting and a time for harvest. May our harvesting be in union with the master planter. May our hearts be grateful for all that God has brought to fruition and harvested within us, personally, in community and in our ministry.
Hymn of Gratitude:
Use option from above or another song that speaks of your reflections.

All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1989 by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.