Kinlochleven Parish Church

   Sunday 27 September 2020 Kinlochleven and Nether Lochaber Parish Churches

Opening Words May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all.

 


Hymn   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 heav'n above;
then thank the Lord, O thank the Lord
for all his love.

 

 

 

 

2 He only is the Maker
of all things near and far;
he paints the wayside flower,
he lights the evening star;
the wind and waves obey him,
by him the birds are fed;
much more to us, his children,
he gives our daily bread. [Refrain]

 

3 We thank you, then, O Father,
for all things bright and good:
the seed-time and the harvest,
our life, our health, our food;
no gifts have we to offer
for all your love imparts,
but that which you desire now:
our humble, thankful hearts! [Refrain]


Prayer Gracious and loving God we praise you and ascribe glory and honour to your name. You are the Maker and you made all things well. Thank you for your faithfulness to us in giving us springtime and harvest. We thank you for the good land the produces good crops and for the things we have seen grow. But we also know that you give another sort of harvest in lives that bear fruit for you. So often though we have not brought forth the harvest of righteousness or let grow the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. So we ask for your merciful love to enfold us, to heal us and make us whole. Forgive our lack of obedient response to what you ask of us. We thank you that because of Jesus and what he has done for us we are forgiven. Draw near, Lord. By your Spirit renew us and help us discover more of Jesus. We offer our prayer in his mighty name.  Amen.

   

Scripture Deuteronomy 24:19-22 “When you reap your harvest in your field and forget a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it. It shall be for the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow, that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. 20 When you beat your olive trees, you shall not go over them again. It shall be for the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow. 21 When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not strip it afterward. It shall be for the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow. 22 You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt; therefore I command you to do this.

Exodus 34:22, 26You must celebrate the Festival of Harvest with the first crop of the wheat harvest, and celebrate the Festival of the Final Harvest at the end of the harvest season. 26 “As you harvest your crops, bring the very best of the first harvest to the house of the Lord your God.

2 Corinthians 9:6-10  Remember this, farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. 7 You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” 8 And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. 9 As the Scriptures say, “They share freely and give generously to the poor.  Their good deeds will be remembered forever.” 10 For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you.

 

Message The crop of apples in the manse garden this year is better than in previous years even if wasps, snails and slugs had a bite. Someone at some point planted those trees and we benefit. It is often this way. Few plant and grow their own. Mind you Marion has grown tomato plants. She planted generously and reaped a decent crop. This year has been tough for farming and crofting and those who relied on seasonal pickers in the lockdown. There is necessary human labour involved in harvest, but we worship the Lord of the harvest. God is faithful and has promised that there will always be planting and harvest as long as the earth remains (Genesis 8:22). He watches over us all and provides. He is both generous and loving. He provides enough that all can enjoy. That principle was taught to the Israelites. At harvest they were to leave some behind for those who didn’t have crops. There were two harvests each year. The first fruits of each harvest were to be brought to the place of worship and offered to the Lord. The people were to enjoy the harvest and they were to acknowledge that God provides. God is rich in mercy, a generous giver and good to all. Jesus taught that God cares for living things, the wildflowers; he provides and cares for us (Matthew 6:30). So we can be assured of his endless detailed loving care in every aspect of our lives. We should not worry or be afraid. We can trust him in difficulty and experience a peace that comes from living righteously and in a right relationship with Christ. A radiance of God’s love and kindness shines forth. Its fruit is in the way we relate to one another. Part of this is sharing, using what we have to help those in need and bring glory to God. To opt out of giving is to break the chain of concern, kindness, fellowship and thanksgiving. We might give to the local pantry or the Food Bank. In this or in other ways God’s Spirit creates the fruit of kindness and concern. Our response to God’s love is in caring support for one another. We have received the generous overflowing love of God in the gift of Jesus. So let us thank God for his unspeakable gift (2 Cor 9:15) and show our gratitude in these ways.   

 

Prayer Lord of the harvest we give you thanks for the gathering in of fruit, vegetables, the marine harvest, all the fruits of the earth. By your mighty power free us from Covid 19. Watch over our village. Bless your church. Through its witness and ours may others come to know Jesus. Grant us grace to reflect your love and care. We sum up our prayer in the words Jesus taught us, saying Our Father…  

Closing Words May God’s blessing be upon us, the blessing of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen.  

Sunday 20 September 2020 Kinlochleven and Nether Lochaber Parish Churches

Opening Words May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all.

 


Hymn  1 And can it be that I should gain
An interest in the Saviour's blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain?
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! how can it be
That Thou, my God, should die for me?

(Refrain) Amazing love! how can it be
That Thou, my God, should die for me!

 

2 'Tis mystery all! Th'Immortal dies!
Who can explore His strange design?
In vain the firstborn seraph tries
To sound the depths of love divine!
'Tis mercy all! let earth adore,
Let angel minds inquire no more. (Refrain)

 

3 He left His Father's throne above,
So free, so infinite His grace;
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam's helpless race;
'Tis mercy all, immense and free;
For, O my God, it found out me. (Refrain)

 

4 Long my imprisoned spirit lay
Fast bound in sin and nature's night;
Thine eye diffused a quick'ning ray,
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free;
I rose, went forth and followed Thee. [Refrain]

 

5 No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in Him is mine!
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach th'eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.

Amazing love! How can it be…

 

 

 


Prayer Gracious and everlasting God how wonderful you are, greatly to be praised, a God of love and compassion and goodness. We praise you for in your amazing power you came down in Jesus to share our life and to create a way that we could come to know and love you. But sometimes loving Father we don’t pay attention to these things and sometimes we just do our own thing when really you are asking us to do something different. As we come back to you now heal us and forgive us, renew us and strengthen us. We ask you to come, Holy Spirit. Renew us and help us discover more of Jesus. We offer our prayer in his mighty name.  Amen.

   

Scripture Matthew 20: 1-16  Jesus said unto them: “For the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And going out about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the marketplace, and to them he said, ‘You go into the vineyard too, and whatever is right I will give you.’ So they went. Going out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour, he did the same. And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing. And he said to them, ‘Why do you stand here idle all day?’ They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You go into the vineyard too.’ And when evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last, up to the first.’ And when those hired about the eleventh hour came, each of them received a denarius. 10 Now when those hired first came, they thought they would receive more, but each of them also received a denarius. 11 And on receiving it they grumbled at the master of the house, 12 saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’ 13 But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14Take what belongs to you and go. I choose to give to this last worker as I give to you. 15 Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?’ 16 So the last will be first, and the first last.”

 

Message In the south of Scotland in past days there were hiring fairs, twice a year, where would-be agricultural labourers gathered at the town or village high street or mercat cross and farmers chose workers for the coming months. In the parable a landowner hires workers for a day. Early in the morning he goes to the marketplace and hires some for the going rate. They start work. Later he returns to the marketplace and finds others still waiting to be hired. He offers them work for the remainder of the day in return for what is right, a fair wage. At the end of the day those who worked the full day were horrified to discover that they received no more than those who worked only a part day. The point is that the landowner had every right to treat them all generously and equally. Those no-one hired earlier had been denied the chance to earn a wage. Some of Jesus’ hearers were resentful when they saw him lavish attention on those who were outside the synagogue community. It appeared to devalue those who were quietly faithful. Jesus demonstrated deep concern for people’s welfare. He hoped to restore their dignity, especially those who had gone astray. Jesus wants us all to come to him and know his love. There can be resentments in the church if people who recently came to faith get attention. We should be rejoicing for them and eager to nurture them. Those who accept Jesus late on in life receive the exact same reward, a share in everlasting life in God’s kingdom. The fact is that God shows us all much love and mercy, beyond what we deserve. None of us deserve or earn his love and forgiveness. We enter God’s kingdom only by grace. It is wrong to resent others when they are blessed. You remember the classic story of Snow White and the seven dwarves. The queen became resentful of Snow White, her stepdaughter. She asked daily, ‘mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of all them all?’ One day the mirror informed her that Snow White was now the fairest of them all. The queen, furious, tried to poison her. The plan failed. It was the queen’s downfall. If someone else has fine looks or great abilities rejoice for them. Do not complain that you seem less favoured. God’s loves us all equally. Think of what God has done for you and give him thanks for all you have received.             

               

Prayer Lord in your mercy help those in need, those who are sorrowing, those who are sick. By your mighty power free us from Covid 19. Watch over our village. Bless your church. Through its witness and ours may others come to know Jesus. Grant us grace to reflect your love and care. We sum up our prayer in the words Jesus taught us, saying Our Father…  

Closing Words May God’s blessing be upon us, the blessing of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen.  

  • Lochaber Road
  • Kinlochleven
  • Argyll
  • PH50 4QW

01855 831227
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