image_print

Lancashire North Missional Partnership : September 2021.

I can always remember the pure joy on our daughter’s Eve face when we dug up together the potatoes that I had planted earlier in the year in the manse garden. As I helped Eve with the gardening fork the dark soil yielded the lovely white potatoes.

The yield of potatoes was good that year. What was unexpected was, that the following year we had another crop of potatoes of those seed potatoes that we accidentally left in the ground. A surprise bonus to receive a year later!

The harvest season is upon us reminding us of words of St Paul:

Remember that the person who sows a few seeds will have a small crop;

the one who sows many seeds will have a large crop!

(2 Corinthians 9:6)

 In despair we have watched this year how our lands have been subject to flood and fire across the world. Tragically, the African island of Madagascar has had no rainfall for four years. More than ever, we need to be thankful to God for fields that are ripe for harvest that brings food to the table of all the human family. We need to share generously what God has given freely to us all.

One of my favourite seasonal hymns is Henry Alford’s hymn

Come, ye thankful people, come,

raise the song of harvest home!

All is safely gathered in,

ere the winter storms begin:

God, our maker, doth provide

for our wants to be supplied;

come to God’s own temple, Come,

raise the song of harvest home!

This lovely hymn weaves the imagery of a crop harvest with the spiritual gathering in of Souls with the longing of “O harvest Lord, that we wholesome grain and pure may be”.

There are many challenges we face as churches within the Lancashire North Missional Partnership but as Paul reminds us the greater, we sow the greater the harvest will be. This is the God we believe in.

Recently, through the Sunday lectionary we have been looking at the book of Proverbs and the letter of James. We have been challenged to show mercy and not judgement. In the Rule of Benedict, it is important that the Abbot of the monastery is a person of mercy and compassion ensuring the protection and spiritual integrity of his congregation.

Let us generously sow the richness of God’s love and have the faith to see in a rich harvest within the life of the Lancashire North Missional Partnership.

With every blessing,

John Gordon