October 1st – How to Celebrate Harvest Thanksgiving



The venerable, elderly principal of the College I first attended in order to begin training for the ministry gave the impression of being a stern man, but he was really an old softie. Why, once, when musing over harvest festival services almost came to tears as he described what, for him, was the ideal picture and the source of all harvest praise. He referred to Deuteronomy Chapter 26, where a Hebrew family putting the first fruits of its land into a basket, taking it to their priest, setting it down in gratitude as an offering to God, then rehearsing how God had brought them to this point in their lives and had provided every good thing for them.Then they would re-tell their family and national history in gratitude. Let’s go through it briefly, bit by bit.
This chapter tells us to select some of the best of our ripe crops, put them in a basket and set it before the minister on duty in an attitude of gratitude. That’s the first thing; take some of the wealth God has given you and take it to the place of worship and offer it. Then you tell your story.You trace your roots to see how the Lord has brought you to this day.All the good that you have, you have received. In short, count your blessings from as far back as you can go, up to this very hour.
Next pray, joyfully and thankfully, not only for your food but for your heritage, your parents, grand parents, great grandparents, children, home, a land to live in, all creature-comforts and for all that feeds your body and your mind and soul. Your own personal story is an integral part of the fabric of the world’s story: generation after generation. Your story is part of God’s story. You, your family, your nation, your race ,that’s the context of all worship. Now you can rejoice in all the good things you enjoy: food and drink, cities and villages, youth and age, sickness and health, richer or poorer, at work at play: for books, radio, TV, art and music, and all other forms of beauty. This is but a part of the rainbow of God’s giving. Deuteronomy 26 has all this in its first half, and it leads to the vital piece in the harvest jigsaw, you then share what you have. You don’t hoard it, you share, you give, and notice how systematic the giving is to be. :Deuteronomy 26:11-12
And you and the Levites and the aliens among you shall rejoice in all the good things the Lord your God has given to you and your household.
When you have finished setting aside a tenth of all your produce in the third year, the year of the tithe, you shall give it to the Levite, the alien, the fatherless and the widow, so that they may eat in your towns and be satisfied.

A Prayer:
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not any of his benefits.
Now read Deuteronomy Chapter 26.

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Thought 4 The Day

The two great tests of character are wealth and poverty. (Anon)

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