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Autumn Requiem

When the green of summer changes to an autumn glow,

When the sun settles in the western skies,

When the hours of sunlight get less and less each day,

When the flowers of the field say their goodbyes,

We can hear the music of the autumn requiem,

Which reminds us that each year part of nature dies.

When the birds flock together and prepare to fly away,

To seek food and warmth in foreign land,

When hedgehogs look fora place to hibernate,

It’s a sure sign that winter is close at hand,

The music of the autumn requiem can be heard,

It’s a message which is easy for us to understand.

When the apples on the trees are ripe for picking,

And the grain harvest has been safely stored away,

When the seed for next years harvest has been sown,

Farmers can relax in the calmness of an autumn day,

As they listen to the music of the autumn requiem,

That reminds them that seed time and  harvest will   never pass away.

This promise of god is one on which they can rely,

Knowing that their success depends upon natures cooperation,

Knowing  that hard work on their part is essential,

If they are to provide for the needs of the nation,

But as they listen to the autumn requiem,

They are reminded that god is part of the equation.

By Ron Martin

HARVEST TIME – Promote Yourself

ben smoking

YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE. HARVEST BEGINS AT SUNDOWN.
YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE. HARVEST BEGINS AT SUNDOWN.
YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE . . .

The microspeakers continue whispering their incantation throughout the city. The Harvest alerts play every day at routine intervals: six in the morning, twelve in the afternoon, three in the afternoon and then once more a half hour before sundown, whenever that is during the season. The message is repeated all across the steel continent; in every room, in every building. It is illegal to reside in a property not linked to VoiceComm.

You don’t need to be surface-side too long to catch the gist of Harvest. Every night is the same.
Lock the doors.
Bolt the windows.
Use only one light at any time.
Put in earplugs.
Draw the curtains.
Don’t look outside.

Of course, you peek out the window the first night you’re left unattended. You hear all that commotion start up outside when the sun goes down. It’s like a bustling marketplace starts humming through the walls.
But it’s true what they say – not even once.
All it takes is that first glance. You catch something unfathomable. Something that your mind simply cannot comprehend. There is no way to explain it. You might gaze out through the glass unto the strange hues of light vibrating on impossible spectrums. You may see the reflection of the red moon across a hulk of pulsating black chitin. Large mandibles covered in sores from which monstrous pupils peer out. Which peer back at you through the glass.

The first night, you’ll look away in fear and disgust. But then the next night, there you’ll be, clenching your teeth while you try not to draw the curtain again. While you try to just not eventhink of what’s going on out there. While you fail.
While you peek again. Night after night.
And what you see during the Harvests from your human accommodation room will start to change you. Even though they warn you back home not to play voyeur, not to give in to curiosity, you’re still going to do it. Despite the threat of a revoked PlanetVisa and deportation back to Earth for trial, you still peer through panes of glass, through cracks in the wall. Just to catch a glimpse of something else.

But then you’re doing it every night you’re on the planet. You start forgoing sleep to spy on Harvest, soon you have to watch the Harvests just to feel normal. The alien nights lose their strange lustre. You become familiar with them.
However, you will almost never realise how familiar Harvest has become with you.
Before you know it, you’re not looking away until sunrise. The images of last night’s Harvest burn in your head, keeping you awake until the sun falls once more. Then, you have no choice but to watch the next Harvest lest you go insane – clinging onto the wild hope that somehow tonight’s Harvest will be different, that tonight will be the night you figure it out. You keep your face pressed up against the glass for another whole night until the scenes outside go dim and it hits six o clock and the Harvest alert of a new dawn breaks the silence.

YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE. HARVEST BEGINS AT SUNDOWN . . .
And then, Harvest comes for you.

That’s when it happens. That next night, when you’re too deep now to come back up for air. You haven’t slept in days, you’ve lost an unhealthy amount of weight. You are losing your mind trying to process what happens each night. Trying to figure out what the fuck it all means. And then you see your Mother in your head, heartbroken and disappointed. Her words of caution replaying ad infinitum directly to your conscience:
“Don’t experiment with other planets. It’s not natural.”
And then they knock at the door.
You hear that wet, rustling noise they make when they talk.
Your shaky hand clasps the faux stainless-steel door handle, sweat rolls from your tear ducts, your mouth is dry. Your tongue sandpaper. You open the door and the red moonlight spills in the room. You are no longer behind glass.

Not that I would know any of this, though.
I don’t peek during Harvest.

E-MAIL:  jondvdsn@hotmail.com

 

21 year old student from Australia. Determined to move overseas. Enthusiastic about writing. Will write for enhanced readership, recognition or even money.

At Harvest time

We ploughed the  fields in springtime

We spread the seed upon the ground

Then we hoped for rain and sunshine

Which would let the seeds abound

To produce a wonderful harvest

Which wound satisfy our need

To ensure that our lives could continue

Hopefully without falling to temptation of greed

For when our essential needs are provided

With these we should be satisfied

And remember that to many throughout the world

That these blessings are often denied

And so at harvest time we should be satisfied

And thank god for the bounty we share 

And be prepared to share this with our neighbours

And to show just how much we care.

By Ron Martin

TWO LITURGIES FOR HARVEST

Harvest Thanksgiving – traditional & contemporary liturgy

Bruegal Harvest

Harvest is a great season for the Christian, because within is so much meaning beyond the usual bunches of grapes and flowers that decorate our churches, as God looks to our harvest – how fruitful are you as a Christian?!

According to that fount of all knowledge – Harvest is from the Anglo-Saxon word hærfest, “Autumn”. It then came to refer to the season for reaping and gathering grain and other grown products. The full moon nearest the autumnal equinox is called the Harvest Moon. So in ancient traditions Harvest Festivals were traditionally held on or near the Sunday of the Harvest Moon. This moon is the full moon which falls in the month of September.

An early Harvest Festival used to be celebrated at the beginning of the Harvest season on 1 August and was called Lammas, meaning ‘loaf Mass’. Farmers made loaves of bread from the fresh wheat crop. These were given to the local church as the Communion bread during a special service thanking God for the harvest.

The modern British tradition of celebrating Harvest Festival in churches began in 1843, when the Reverend Robert Hawker invited parishioners to a special thanksgiving service at his church at Morwenstow in Cornwall. Victorian hymns such as “We plough the fields and scatter”, “Come ye thankful people, come” and “All things bright and beautiful” helped popularise his idea of harvest festival and spread the annual custom of decorating churches with home-grown produce for the Harvest Festival service.

Two liturgies for Harvest

1) A More Traditional Liturgy

Leader: The heavens declare the glory of God
All: The skies display the work of his hands

God of light and God of night
Creator of seed and mountain
raindrop and fountain
We bring our offering of praise.
God of right and God of might
Lover of child and childless
rich and homeless
We bring our offering of praise.

Leader: Do you not know? Have you not heard?
All: The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth(Isaiah 40:28)

‘As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.’ (Gen 8:22)

By faith
I gaze up to the heavens
and know
within its vastness
that this is your creation
planned and effected within eternity

By faith
I pluck an ear of corn
and know
within its symmetry
lies the chemistry of life
the potential of creation within my hand

By faith
I listen for your voice
and know
the whisper that I hear
breathed a world into existence
yet listens to the prayer within my soul

By faith
I strive to do your will
and know
the door that I approach
may lead me to shadows
where my roll is to become your light

By faith
I cling to your word
and know
the strength that I receive
has it’s source within the love
that is at the centre of all things

Leader: Listen to these words from Christina Rossetti ((1830-1894)) and think about them for a moment,

‘Lord, purge our eyes to see
within the seed a tree,
Within the glowing egg a bird,
Within the shroud a butterfly,
Til, taught by such, we see
beyond all creatures, thee.’

Leader: For the beauty of a country scene
All: We praise you Lord for sight
Leader: For the coolness of a mountain stream
All: We praise you Lord for touch
Leader: For nightingale in tuneful flow
All: We praise you Lord for ears
Leader: For the taste of fruit that we have grown
All: We praise you Lord for senses

Creator God, for daily bread
and all who work
to bring your harvest home
we bring our thanks today.

(pause)

Forgive our ingratitude
we who have so much
yet waste what you have given.

(pause)

For those whose harvest is poor,
whose crops have withered,
water tainted, children starve,
help those who bring relief
and bestow on us
an unaccustomed generosity,
that all might share from your garden
and all might sing your praise.

(pause)

Creator God, provider of all
we bring our thanks today.
And we bless each other
that the beauty of this world
and the love that created it
might be expressed though our lives
and be a blessing to others
now and always
A. AMEN

 


2) A More Contemporary Liturgy

Small Beginnings

“Things great have small beginnings. Every downpour is just a raindrop; every fire is just a spark; every harvest is just a seed; every journey is just a step because without that step there will be no journey; without that raindrop there can be no shower; without that seed there can be no harvest.”
William Wilberforce

In the beginning there was nothing, and out of nothing you fashioned a universe so vast, so unimaginable that we can only sigh with amazement when we stare upwards on a star-lit night. And within this universe you positioned the earth and populated it, provided for it and designed for it to be a place of beauty.
Creator God: Thank you

In the beginning there was just potential; the seed within the packet, soil’s nutrients, sunshine’s warmth, rain clouds gathering. And within the tiny seed all that is our daily bread encoded, primed and ready should it be planted and allowed to grow.
Creator God: Thank you

Genesis 2: 8 Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. 9 And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

In the beginning there was humankind, placed within your garden, made steward, gardener and caretaker of this place of beauty, given responsibilities and the capacity to enjoy. And yet among the seeds we have sown have been weeds and crops of our own choosing, which have not shown fruit or have spread and choked the earth.
Creator God: Forgive us

Myung Lee reminds us of an old Korean proverb. “If you plant a bean, then you will harvest only beans, not grapes or strawberries.” God gave us new life through Jesus Christ and planted special seeds of forgiveness and love in our hearts. What fruit will we bear in our daily lives?” 

A moment of quiet, time to listen, time to be still with God – what does he say to you this harvest time?

(silence)

God of harvest,
gardener supreme
you place us at the centre
feed us, equip us and
having provided for us
look to a different harvest
a fruitfulness of lives
in service to you
and others.
God of harvest,
feed us
prune us
harvest us
that our lives
might bring glory to you.

 

Harvest Festival

Thank you Father for Nature,

For supplying the food we eat,

For the many wonderful fruits,

That is tasty and so sweet.

 

Thank you for the vegetables,

That helps the body to survive,

That nourishes our very being,

To keep us all alive.

 

Thank you for the conditions,

The wind, the rain and storm,

Thank you for the sunshine,

That ripens the fields of corn.

 

Bless all the harvest,

Those graces our table fare,

Abundance of glorious food,

A feast for all to share.

So as we celebrate Harvest Festival,

Let us think of those in need,

Send your thoughts out to the starving,

That all of them may feed.

 

Help us share your treasure,

To those that are starving today,

Give them strength and nourishment,

To soothe their pains away.

 

If through your love and understanding,

We conquer famine decay and despair,

Then Father we have learnt our lesson,

For through you we have learnt to share.

 

Malcolm G Bradshaw  
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