mgpc still has a Harvest Festival. Part of one of our Sunday Services each year, we display a variety of fruit, vegetables and other forms of produce, giving thanks to God for His seasonal and daily providence toward humanity.
Part of our Harvest Festival is a Sale of Gifts held tomorrow night. All the goods displayed today, plus many others are ‘auctioned’ off at somewhat inflated prices, with the proceeds going to mission work, this year for relief in Haiti. It’s a fun night.
Our praise to God rightly emphasises His redemptive love in Christ, but we should not neglect remembering that the seasons that come and go, growth and fruitfulness, even the labours which we perform are all part of His gracious provision toward us.
We sang the hymn ‘We Plough The Fields And Scatter’. The hymn tops any list of those suggested as appropriate for Harvest Festival services.
Robert Cottrill’s WordWise Hymns has a post on the hymn’s author Matthias Claudius.
Here are the lyrics as rendered in the Rejoice! hymnbook.
We plough the fields, and scatter
the good seed on the land;
but it is fed and watered
by God’s almighty hand:
He sends the snow in winter,
the warmth to swell the grain;
the breezes and the sunshine,
and soft refreshing rain.
All good gifts around us
are sent from heaven above;
then thank the Lord,
O thank the Lord for all His love.
He only is the Maker
of all things near and far;
He paints the wayside flower,
He lights the evening star.
The winds and waves obey Him,
by Him the birds are fed;
much more, to us His children
He gives our daily bread.
All good gifts …
We thank You, then, our Father,
for all things bright and good;
the seed-time and the harvest,
our life, our health, our food.
Accept the gifts we offer
for all Your love imparts;
and that which You most welcome:
our humble, thankful hearts!
All good gifts …
Hymn from the Rejoice! Hymn Book, Presbyterian Church of Australia
This YouTube shows a Methodist Choir’s rendition of the song. Even though not of English origin, the hymn does seem to bring English country life to mind. Don’t know why.