The harvest is here

The harvest is here:
earth’s bounty we bring!
And as we draw near,
God’s mercies we sing.
From greenhouse and garden,
allotment and store:
these love-gifts we offer
and praises outpour.

A harvest we bear –
our talents and time.
A calling to share:
such is God’s design.
As people of Jesus
we honour his name;
through our love for neighbour
his love we proclaim.

Optional locally-written verse – see below

God’s harvest shall come,
when all is fulfilled:
death’s forces succumb,
and violence be stilled.
Then all that has breath
in Creation restored
shall bow down in worship:
One Harvest, one Lord!

In writing this harvest hymn, my intention was that the third verse could be locally-written to reflect circumstances at the time of use. Thus in 2007 a verse was used addressing the context of flooding and foot-and-mouth disease which had afflicted many parts of the UK in that summer: 

A harvest is here:
a harvest of pain.
The toxin of fear,
the weeping like rain.
A summer of suff’ring
with flood and disease:
we pray for its victims –
Lord, give them your peace!

Whereas this third verse was used in a Methodist Circuit in 2011, at a time of reconfiguration of Circuit boundaries:

A harvest is nigh:
the changes we face.
On Christ we’ll rely,
who promises grace.
New friends to encounter,
old friends to farewell:
God gathers to scatter
and all shall be well!

So the author’s permission to use this hymn includes permission (and encouragement!) to write a new penultimate verse that reflects your community’s circumstances at the time of use. You don’t need to revert to me for approval; but I’m always delighted to read what congregations have come up with!

A version of this hymn appears in Singing The Faith (Methodist Publishing, 2011); in that version, the third verse is omitted.

Suggested tune: Laudate Dominum


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