Here are the Readings, Prayers, Sermon and Musical Selection for 18 October 2020, the Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost.
It’s also Harvest Sunday.
The Lectionary scriptures for this week are Deuteronomy 26:1-11 (‘Firstfruits and Tithes’); Psalm 145:8-21; 2 Corinthians 9:6-15 (‘Generosity Encouraged’); and Matthew 6:9-13 (on how you should pray).
The passages from Second Corinthians and Matthew form the basis of the sermon and Rev. Geoff McKee focuses his discussion on the line in the Lord’s Prayer which we say as ‘Give us this day our daily bread’ – but which can also mean ‘Give us this day our bread for tomorrow’.
The banner image is a nostalgic look back to a communion table adorned with the fruit of the land and a wheat sheaf. And a here’s a link to Ruth’s wheat sheaf recipe, with step-by-step photos!
Lectionary Readings for this week
Deuteronomy 26:1-11 ( New International Version)
Firstfruits and Tithes
26 When you have entered the land the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance and have taken possession of it and settled in it, 2 take some of the firstfruits of all that you produce from the soil of the land the Lord your God is giving you and put them in a basket. Then go to the place the Lord your God will choose as a dwelling for his Name 3 and say to the priest in office at the time, “I declare today to the Lord your God that I have come to the land the Lord swore to our ancestors to give us.” 4 The priest shall take the basket from your hands and set it down in front of the altar of the Lord your God. 5 Then you shall declare before the Lord your God: “My father was a wandering Aramean, and he went down into Egypt with a few people and lived there and became a great nation, powerful and numerous. 6 But the Egyptians mistreated us and made us suffer, subjecting us to harsh labor. 7 Then we cried out to the Lord, the God of our ancestors, and the Lord heard our voice and saw our misery, toil and oppression. 8 So the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with great terror and with signs and wonders. 9 He brought us to this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey; 10 and now I bring the firstfruits of the soil that you, Lord, have given me.” Place the basket before the Lord your God and bow down before him. 11 Then you and the Levites and the foreigners residing among you shall rejoice in all the good things the Lord your God has given to you and your household.
8 The Lord is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and rich in love.
9 The Lord is good to all;
he has compassion on all he has made.
10 All your works praise you, Lord;
your faithful people extol you.
11 They tell of the glory of your kingdom
and speak of your might,
12 so that all people may know of your mighty acts
and the glorious splendour of your kingdom.
13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and your dominion endures through all generations.
The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises
and faithful in all he does.
14 The Lord upholds all who fall
and lifts up all who are bowed down.
15 The eyes of all look to you,
and you give them their food at the proper time.
16 You open your hand
and satisfy the desires of every living thing.
17 The Lord is righteous in all his ways
and faithful in all he does.
18 The Lord is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.
19 He fulfills the desires of those who fear him;
he hears their cry and saves them.
20 The Lord watches over all who love him,
but all the wicked he will destroy.
21 My mouth will speak in praise of the Lord.
Let every creature praise his holy name
for ever and ever.
2 Corinthians 9:6-15
6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9 As it is written:
“They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor;
their righteousness endures forever.”
10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!
9 “This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.
The earth has yielded its harvest. May God, our God, bless us. Psalm 67:6
God of all creation, we praise and give thanks for all that You have given to us in our lives. We thank You for the beauty of the Scottish landscape, the beautiful braes, the burns, the highlands and the Islands. We thank You for the orchards, the excellent grazing pastures and the rich soil for cultivation. We thank You for all those who work the land and sea to provide food to feed us; for farmers who grow crops and produce livestock with love and care and those fishing the deep oceans. We thank You God for the rich variety of food that comes from all across the world. We thank You for the enjoyment and pleasure we find in sharing food in celebration and fellowship. We pray for those who grow, prepare and distribute the food we eat.
Creator God, you have made us stewards of your earth and you have charged us to tend it and to grow food in season. We confess that we are often wasteful and careless with your abundant gifts. Forgive us for our neglect and carelessness and help us to respect and to use your gifts for your glory and to cherish all life that comes from you, so that we may share in the labour of all creation to bring relief to those in need and to sustain ourselves in our own well-being; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
NOTE: The above audio is in mp3 format and is also downloadable, if you wish to listen at a time when you may not have a reliable internet connection. Other devices are available but, on a PC, for example, if you right-click on the 3 vertical dots at the right side of the audio player, the drop-down menu should offer the option to “Save as…”
Prayers of Intercession
We pray today for farmers and farm-workers, especially those we know in our parishes. We pray for them in the heat of summer and in the dreichness of the wet and cold of winter, as they tend their stock daily and cultivate their fields, as they manage the hedges, woodland and waterways. We pray for safety in a hazardous industry, encouragement for the solitary, and a fair price for their products. We pray for seasonable weather, good growth and good yields, so that there may be abundant harvests to feed hungry people – for safe work practices and healthy habits for all farmers, so that people and communities may flourish and be strong. We pray for health and happiness in the home life of all farmers, and for families to work together with love, respect and harmony.
We pray for wise financial planning, land care and asset management, so that farmers may be confident about the future of their farms, for good communication between country and city, so that we may understand each other’s needs and encourage one another. We pray for this country to increase its self-sufficiency in food that people and supermarket-buyers will support local growers. We pray for all those who provide seasonal labour at harvest time, for those who clean and process our food – often in tough conditions, for those who transport, inspect and sell our food and for all who cook it for us.
Generous God, as we celebrate your goodness to us in Scotland we also remember the plight of those whose harvests have failed. We pray for those whose land or crops have been affected by floods, drought, or fire by pests and disease. For those whose families are hungry and for those who have no seed or livestock for the future. We also remember those here and abroad who are dependent on food banks. Help us to be generous givers – of our money, food and time, as Christian disciples in this place, and show us how to be stewards of the resources of your world, for the benefit of all people, as we pray together…..
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we forgive our debtors
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
Come ye thankful people come was written by Henry Alford, a 19th century clergyman, who later in his life also served as dean of Canterbury Cathedral. It’s a much-loved traditional harvest hymn which is sung worldwide. Verse one is calling people to give thanks to God for the Harvest. The hymn finally refers to the last harvest at the second coming of Jesus.