The season of Fall is upon us in North America and somehow, it’s already October! The leaves are thinking of turning here in Nashville; we just need some cooler nights and a bit of rain to make that happen. Maybe you need a bit of rain or some change of weather to get you in the mood for a new season! The Old Testament reading for the Canadian Thanksgiving Day and Harvest celebration Sunday is from the book of Joel. Read through the passage and allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you today about this New Season. What do you notice? What brings your hope? What does God want you to hear today?
JOEL 2: 21-27 NRSV
Do not fear, O soil;
be glad and rejoice,
for the Lord has done great things!
Do not fear, you animals of the field,
for the pastures of the wilderness are green;
the tree bears its fruit,
the fig tree and vine give their full yield.
O children of Zion, be glad
and rejoice in the Lord your God;
for he has given the early rain for your vindication, he has poured down for you abundant rain,
the early and the later rain, as before.
The threshing floors shall be full of grain, the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.
I will repay you for the years
that the swarming locust has eaten,
the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent against you.
You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, who has dealt wondrously with you.
And my people shall never again be put to shame.
You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel,
and that I, the Lord, am your God and there is no other. And my people shall never again be put to shame.
How are you feeling as you transition into the new Fall Season? What locusts have you been dealing with lately? What has been eaten away that you’d like to see restored? Talk to Jesus about this. What HOPE do you find in this passage from Joel?
FIND SOME POTTING SOIL, A DISH FILLED WITH SOIL FROM YOUR GARDEN OR A POTTED PLANT and FIX SOME TOAST with JAM or find some FIG NEWTONS TO PRAY WITH. You can do this prayer practice on your own, with your small group, or even with your entire church group. Just have enough fig newtons or jam and bread for everyone. You might create a slide show with photos of fall fields if you use slides in your church gatherings. Give people time to pray with and process the questions. You could even have pen and paper and have people respond to the questions in writing.
READ the Joel passage again and AS YOU LOOK AT THE SOIL and the photos of fall, consider your life right now.
Consider the SOIL…and your life.
It’s time for harvest. Picking the good food and the fruits of the land.
The old crops are tilled under.
Things go to seed.
The field, the soil, is allowed to lay fallow.
The soil, the earth, is allowed to rest.
The soil, is allowed to prepare for a new season after the rain.
What is your soil like today? Ready for harvest, in need of lying fallow? What is the harvest? What is the “good food” in your life? Take time to be grateful. Can you see this season as a gift? Do you need to give yourself permission to rest? How can you allow this season to be a time of preparation? Are you willing to receive what this season has to offer? Ask Jesus to show you.
The Creator is inviting you to the harvest feast…the table is prepared with love.
Milk and Honey overflow, fresh bread and new wine. Jam and Bread and Biscuits.
Feed us/Feed me Jesus with the food we/I need today. You know just what we/I need!
You know right where we are and you know all our circumstances.
Help us to remember the bread of life that sustains us and the sweetness of your love.
Help us to rest in the palm of your hand. AMEN
EAT YOUR BREAD AND JAM or your fig newton cookie and celebrate the sweetness of God’s love!
It’s here! As promised, Gearing Up for a Season of Gratitude is now available as an online course! Inspired by the celebrations of Canadian Thanksgiving at the beginning of October and American Thanksgiving at the end of November, we designate October and November as gratitude months on Godspace Light. Lilly Lewin and Christine Sine will encourage you to get ready by providing a collaborative retreat process that will help us enter this season of gratitude with joy and delight in our hearts. This course provides a fun process of interaction, creativity, and reflection.
How do we approach the world with gratitude and delight even in the midst of the most challenging situations? What if gratitude is more than an emotion? What can we do to bring more gratitude into our daily lives? These are some of the questions we grapple with as we look ahead to the changing seasons. What are your questions about gratitude? Join us and explore them in this interactive mini-retreat “Gearing up for a Season of Gratitude”.