Lesson 7 – How does Harvest inspire believers to show gratitude?

In this lesson pupils will reflect on the fact that Jesus describes himself as ‘Lord of the Harvest’ and how this impacts believers lives and the rituals and purpose of Harvest festivals themselves, a time of gathering in the ‘first-fruits to share. In the light of their learning they will consider the concept of ‘harvest of righteousness and the question ‘what on earth has harvest got to do with heaven?’

They will evaluate the impact that organisations like Christian Aid, Tear Fund, and Diocesan Companions for example Angola, London, Mozambique Association (ALMA), can have on people’s lives –for example being motivated by the commandment to love your neighbour as yourself, and to share ‘first fruits’ in terms of friendship, time, expertise and resources .

 Key Questions

  • Why is Harvest festival used as an opportunity share with others in the UK and overseas?
  • How do the choices and actions of Christian believers at Harvest time express their core beliefs in Jesus as Saviour and in the gift of eternal life?
  • What does the concept of harvest of righteousness mean in Christian belief?
  • How are believers inspired by Harvest to show gratitude and help others?

Learning objectives

  • Investigate how Christians use Harvest Celebrations to show love to their neighbours?
  • Explore how actions express beliefs and values about Harvest?

Starter

Ask pupils to think about the idea that Christians are inspired to love other people as part of their worship and love for God. What has this got to do with Harvest?

Discuss the idea that Christians are motivated by their belief in Jesus as Saviour, that he gave his life on behalf of others on the cross, and gave the command to love your neighbour and while on earth demonstrated ways to love the poor.

Consider the question: How is how helping people at harvest time a way that Christians follow Jesus example of ‘love your neighbour as yourself – giving to the poor?

Christians believe that their efforts should be focussed on worshipping and serving God through building the Kingdom of God, on God’s values, in preparation for Jesus return. They ask the Holy spirit to inspire and help them to love their neighbours e.g. working with others who share the same vision to set up charities such as Trussel Trust Foodbanks. Read ‘Foodbank real life stories about the different it makes to people’s lives.

Main activity 1

Discuss the Christian concepts of righteousness and the kingdom of God. Christians believe that when they put their trust in Jesus as Saviour, repent of their sins and ask God for forgiveness, Jesus, who is believed to be holy and righteous comes to dwell in them, through the power of the holy spirit. They are motivated by gratitude for the new life that God gives them in Jesus Christ, to build the kingdom of God in preparation for Jesus return at the end of time.

Read the  text from the Bible New Testament 2 Corinthians 9:10

“He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.”

Questions to think about:

How does this text help explain Christian belief that God partners with people in spreading the Gospel of Jesus as saviour and growing God’s Kingdom?

Main Activity 2

Gather key questions to ask representative from the church community to explain the ‘kingdom of God, and what it means for Christians to be helping to build it.

What motivates them to care for others and the difference they hope their actions make to people’s lives.

What does the local church do for their local and overseas neighbours at Harvest time? How do people work together to help others?

Ask a representative of the local church about the local and overseas charities they support. Find out how the class/school could participate to help ‘love their neighbours at Harvest time’

Investigate charities that promote Harvest as a time to consider and help the people, for example  in poverty or affected by poor harvest because of drought, floods or earthquakes in the poorest parts of the world.

Plenary

Consider what the Christian concept of ‘giving your ‘first fruits’ from the harvest means today.

Work in groups to brainshower a Harvest campaign for a ‘real-life’ initiative either linked to the support given by the local church to charities such as foodbank or Christians Aid, or a charity already supported by the school.

Find out about the local foodbank linked to the local church and other organisations. See photos of displays from church noticeboards to see links that churches have with charities and overseas communities

N.B. This activity could form the basis of the extended reflection

Learning Outcomes

  • Describe ways in which Christian communities are inspires by Harvest time to show love to their neighbours?
  • Explain how the acts of loving their neighbour communicate core Christian beliefs and values
  • Explain what  the Kingdom of God means and ‘Harvest of righteousness

Resources and Points to note