Shipley Church Self-Service
Sunday 4th October 2020
Thought for the Week – The heavens are telling the glory of God
We celebrate Harvest Festival today, by singing, praying and decorating the church with baskets of fruit and flowers grown in our fields and gardens. Increasingly, churches have linked their celebrations of thanksgiving with awareness and concern for people in the developing world for whom growing crops of sufficient quality and quantity remains a struggle. We are also called upon to recognise the impact we humans are having on the planet, and to care more for our world.
The well-known chorus “The heavens are telling . . .” from the oratorio The Creation (1798) by Joseph Haydn celebrates God’s creation as described in the book of Genesis. The psalms also explore the context of our existence in relation to the universe (Psalm 19). Who are we, and do we matter? We are given answers in the person of Jesus Christ whose life and ministry asserted the value and dignity of every human being. In times past, we would have laughed at the idea of the hairs on our heads being numbered. But in the age of DNA and other scientific advances, we make the staggering discovery that each one of us is unique, and, according to Jesus, known. Our understanding of the God of Creation is also enhanced by its intimacy with us as well as its existence in the vastness of the firmament.
Hymn for the Day
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.
We pray for the protection of Creation and the promotion of sustainable lifestyles that reverse our contribution to climate change. (Romans 8: 18-21)
Note: The Gospel and all set readings for today can be downloaded from the top right of this page.