Harvest Festival Sunday – Reflection by Canon Leslie


Harvest Festival Sunday – Reflection by Canon Leslie

The Gospel for this Sunday is the narrative of the ten lepers from Luke 17: 11-19. This is a poignant story that takes place when Jesus was travelling on foreign soil (Samaria) making his way to Jerusalem. The ten lepers were social outcasts as a consequence of their disease. They kept social distance when they tried to attract Jesus’ attention. Their healing was important because it meant not only physical healing, but social healing as well. The point of the story is that, although all ten were healed, only one came back to say ‘thank you’ to Jesus.

The Gospel reading is well chosen for Harvest Festival. Like those nine healed lepers, it is all too easy for us to take good things for granted. Harvest thanksgiving is a time to give thanks not only for the harvest, but for all the blessings that we experience in life. The call to be Christian, is the call to be thankful people, to be people whose lives are shaped by a sense of gratitude.

To prepare for this Sunday’s service I invited those of you who want to do some thinking beforehand to focus on the image of thank you cards. In today’s picture from a book in their Christian Special Places series Aled and Sian prepare the altar in their church with the bread for the Eucharist. Here in the picture bread, fruit of the earth and work of human hands, is linked with other fruits of the earth placed in front of the altar to celebrate harvest festival. In this way Aled and Sian recognise their call to be a thankful people, to be a Eucharistic people, to be people whose lives are shaped by a sense of gratitude.

Next week we return to our lectionary journey through Matthew’s Gospel and reach the point when Jesus had ridden into Jerusalem and kicked the money changers out of the temple. The religious leaders try to set a trap for Jesus. The image to help us prepare for participation in next Sunday’s service online at home is setting traps. You can find out more about that theme here https://www.prayerforliverpool.org/prayer-resources.html. We would really appreciate you letting us know how you are using these materials. Please send us your ideas and photos of the things you may create; email them to Nelson.Pike@liverpoolcathedral.org.uk.

To find the Christian Special Places series and read about more adventures with Aled and Sian, please do check out the following link to the relevant page of the St. Mary’s Centre website: http://www.st-marys-centre.org.uk/resources/christianspecialplaces.html.


We warmly invite you to join us in worship online here:

Aled and Sian wish everyone a very pleasant Harvest Sunday.

Canon Leslie