CALL TO WORSHIP:
ONE: In the fading of the summer sun, the shortening of days,
cooling breeze, swallows' flight and moonlight rays,
ALL: We see the Creator's hand.
ONE: In the browning of leaves once green, morning mists,
autumn chill, fruit that falls, frost's first kiss,
ALL: We see the Creator's hand. "Enter His Gates"
PRAYER & THE LORD'S PRAYER:
As a part of nature's wondrous cycle of new birth, growth, fruitfulness and death, we rejoice in the creation of new life, for parenthood, the passing of knowledge, for understanding and the wisdom of years. We are grateful for those who have gone before, passing on to us our spiritual heritage. May our lives blossom as the apple tree in spring. May we become fruitful in thought and deed, and may the seed of love that falls to the ground linger beyond our time on this earth.
May this eternal truth be always on our hearts, that God breathed
this world into being, placed stars into the heavens, and designed a butterfly's wing, is the God who entrusted His life to the care of ordinary people, became that we might know how strong is the power of love. A mystery so deep it is
impossible to grasp. A mystery so beautiful it is impossible to ignore.
In Jesus Name we pray the words He taught us, saying: Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, For Thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory, forever and ever, Amen.
THANKSGIVING PRAYER: 0 God of all creation: You have cared for the earth and have
filled it with Your riches. Abundance flows in Your fields and orchards. You provide for our land, softening it with showers, bathing it in light, and blessing it with growth.
The hills sing with joy, the meadows are covered with flocks and herds. The fields deck themselves with wheat and corn, and together they glorify Your name.
On this occasion of our Thanksgiving, we as a nation take rest from our labours to consider Your many blessings. We thank You for our freedom, and for the opportunity to 'contribute our skills, our attributes and our values toward the good of society.
We thank You for the mixture of our cultures, blending us into one people under God. Help us to be a light to other nations, and to further the cause of freedom and justice all over the world.
We remember those who are less fortunate than we. We lift up in prayer the victims of poverty and racism, and all those who suffer from forms of political and economic oppression. Let the word that goes forth from our mouths speak of Your peace, and let us proclaim our hope in Christ as Saviour of all humankind.
We pray that You will bless all those who gather here, as we have come to experience Your presence among us. Give us Your guidance, 0 God, and empower us for Your work. For we claim nothing for ourselves, but return all
honour and glory to You, and offer You our thanks and praise. Amen.
Think of life as a field to he plowed and harrowed and planted with seed, and from the earth we can then gather the grain from our labours. Life is also a vine that needs to be pruned and tended, both the runner and the roots. And after these labours we are able to gather the fully ripened fruit.
Thanksgiving is such a warming time of year. All our loved ones gather around and we thank God for our life. Thanksgiving provides an occasion for saying "thanks', both to God from whom all blessings flow and to those who are conduits of divine blessings in our lives. It's a time to stop what we're doing and say "Thank you" to the people in our lives who deserve to hear this from us.
Thanksgiving is not a day for being thankful for the present. It is also a time for looking backward on yesterday and thinking forward to tomorrow. It's a day that serves as a bridge from a happy past to a hopeful future. This special day we set aside to count our blessings ,and we must include the happiness we hold in memory and the joys we anticipate. The greatest blessing humankind has in life, and we should live so that every day is an individual day of thanksgiving.
Today, we are pleased to present "A Harvest Carol", a short play about remembering to thank God for giving us the land to harvest and the food we eat throughout the year. The characters learn that it is important to celebrate what God has done for them. When we celebrate the holiday of Thanksgiving, we are setting aside a day to thank God for all the good things He has given us. We can thank Him for things as simple as our pets, our family and our friends, or as big and wonderful as our salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ.
And so, without further delay, we present "A Harvest Carol."
A HARVEST CAROL
The stage is set with a blanket & pillow. Grace is sitting on blanket)
NARR: It's the night before the Harvest Party at church and Grace is very upset with her
parents. Let's look in and see what the trouble is.
GRACE: (sobbing) All I wanted to do was to go to a camp out at my friend's house. Mom
and Dad say that I have to go with them to some stupid Harvest party at church. I hate this!
NARR: As Grace is crying herself to sleep, she begins dreaming about the camp out. Oh
what fun they were going have.
(Music — God Is Like)
(When the music ends, Grace wakes up with a start. She hears a spirit calling her name)
NARR: Grace, I'm your friend who had leukemia and died last year. I'm here tonight
to tell you to change your ways. Tonight you will be visited by three spirits. Listen
carefully to what they say to you or you might not really know about Jesus. I wish
that I had listened more carefully to my parents.
GRACE: But Jesus doesn't care if I go to my friend's camp out. I want to have fun!
(Grace starts to fall asleep again)
SUMMER: (PAST comes in dressed as an angel)
PAST: Grace, I am the spirit of Harvest Past. Come with me.
(PAST & Grace leave the stage)
(Music — God Is Good)
(When music ends, Hudson enters with a basket of fruits & vegetables. He puts the basket down, then holds up some of the food to God. PAST & Grace enter)
HUDSON: This is fun. God is so good to give us all this food. Thank you Jesus for loving us. It reminds me how lucky we are. I remember the poem our Sunday School Teacher read us last week. It went like this:
There is no turkey on my table, no pie upon my plate,
No rich gourmet for me today, for wealth is not my fate.
No family members come my way, they've projects of their own. The house is still and silent, but I am not alone.
Life is better, Scripture says, if You have blessed my life,
Than bags of silver, if they're mingled, Lord, with strife.
Remind me Father, every day, that little's much with You;
The best is yet to come for us; so keep us staunch and true.
We must always remember how lucky we are to be blessed the way we are.
GRACE: (talking to PAST) I remember this. We had a huge party. It was so much fun.
Can we stay longer, please Spirit?
PAST: No, we have to go now. (They ALL leave the stage)
(Music — For The Beauty Of The Earth)
(At the end of the music, Grace comes back and sits on blanket)
NARR: As Grace looks around her room, she starts to think this was all a dream. Boy,
what fun it was to celebrate God giving them a great harvest that year. The party was a blast. And they had great stuff to eat, too. Soon, though, Grace falls back to sleep.
PRESENT: Grace, I am the Spirit of Harvest Present. Come with me.
(Grace & PRESENT leave stage)
(Music — Fairest Lord Jesus)
(While music is playing Hudson enters, sits on floor, and dumps candy out of goodie bag. Grace & PRESENT enter)
HUDSON: Look at all the candy I got in my goodie bag from the camp out. Wow, this is so cool! It's great to be here with all my friends.
GRACE: talking to PRESENT) They're having so much fun. I wish I could be there. Please,
Spirit, I want to stay.
PRESENT: Come, we have to go. (everyone leaves stage) (Music — God Is So Good)
(Grace comes back to blanket while music is playing)
NARR: Grace looks around the room. Oh, how come her parents won't let her go? All her friends are going and they're going to have so much fun. Grace lies down and is starting to fall asleep again, when the Spirit of Harvest Yet To Come enters the room.
(Spirit of Harvest Yet To Come enters wearing a black cape. He shakes Grace and
points for her to follow)
(Music — God Will Take Care Of You)
(The Spirit & Grace leave stage as music is playing) (Mother enters holding a photo)
MOTHER: (sobbing) Why didn't you come with me to the Harvest Party? Why did you go to the camp out with your friends? If you had come with me then you wouldn't have been there alone when the wind storm came and uprooted the tree that hit the tent. You wouldn't have broken your leg. I wish you would have come with us and then you would have seen that celebrating Harvest with Jesus can be fun too. (Spirit of Harvest Yet To Come & Grace enter back on stage)
GRACE: Spirit, is this what is going to happen? Who's leg is broken? That's my mother.
Is it me she's talking about? Spirit? Spirit?
(Music — Dem Dry Bones)
(Mother & Harvest Yet To Come leave stage as music plays)
(Grace lies down on blanket, then wakes up and starts praying)
Lord, please forgive me.
(Music — I Have Decided To Follow Jesus)
(Grace leaves stage during music)
NARR: Morning is breaking and Grace is going to school after the horrible night of bad
dreams! Let's see if she learned anything. We find her at the school yard with her friends.
(Music Into My Heart) (As music plays, children come on stage)
HUDSON: it's the camp out tonight! Are you coming?
GRACE: No. I've decided that I should celebrate Harvest time, instead! Why don't you
all come with me and my family? We could have the camp out another night, There'll be games and lots to eat at the Harvest Party. And well be able to
give Jesus thanks for giving us our Harvest throughout the year.
(Music — Come Bless The Lord)
NARR: Well, it looks like Grace has found out what Harvest time is all about! We all
agree that it's a time to celebrate what God has done for us. Harvest Time is the time to thank God for giving us the land to harvest and the food we eat throughout the year. Let's give Harvest back to God!
ALL: The year has turned its circle,
The seasons come and go. The harvest is all gathered in, And chilly north winds blow,
Orchards share their treasures, The fields, their yellow grain So open wide the doorway, Thanksgiving comes again!
H is for harvest. Farmers work hard, hour by hour,
To cut and store the golden grain that's then made into flour.
A is for apples, pears and plums, all hanging from the tree.
They're fresh and sweet and juicy a treat for you and me.
R is for red and yellow, orange, gold and green,
The trees so full of colour as nature paints the scene.
V is for vegetables gathered and safely stored away.
Potatoes, carrots, sprouts and peas, so there's some for every day.
E is for earth, providing all our food,
With sun and rain to make things grow to give us all that's good.
S is for seeds, so gently twirling to the ground, Settling deep within the soil where new growth will be found.
T — So it's a big Thank You we must not forget to say
To God above who shows His love in caring day by day.