tree

Countryside Matters!

Hymn

tractor

Tune
Eventide

Sowing with tears, preparing for the crop,
Waiting in prayer, afraid to even hope,
Watching for rain and warmth in measure due;
God of all life and growth we trust in you.

Half of our world sees food in short supply;
Mothers go hungry, children waste and die;
War, flood and drought consume and kill the seed;
God of compassion, help us meet their need.

Rich lands replete, with barns that overflow,
Food to be squandered, farm-gate prices low;
Plans, dreams and hopes with farming incomes fall;
God of abundance, help us share with all.

Hear now our prayers at this Rogationtide;
Bless those whose work maintains our countryside;
Those now despairing in your safety keep
That all who sow with tears, with joy may reap.

Tony Ingleby © 2000 TUNE: Eventide.
The words of this hymn may be copied provided the above copyright acknowledgement is included

Alternative last verse for other occasions

Hear now our prayers for farmers nationwide;
Bless those whose work maintains our countryside;
Those now despairing in your safety keep
That all who sow with tears, with joy may reap.

For Plough Sunday change 'Sowing' in verse 1 to 'Ploughing'

Worship index
Main index


Rogation hymn with alternatives for Plough Sunday and other seasons


Hymn for
Plough Sunday

Plough Sunday Service

Lammas Hymn

Ps 23 Hymn and
meditation

Hymn for Plough Sunday

Metre:
CM

Suggested Tune: St. Anne

In all our fields, God speed the plough;
The ploughman guide and keep
Preparing by his labours now
At harvest time to reap.

God speed the plough in needy lands
Beyond our native shore.
Pour out rich blessings in their hands
And on their harvest floor.

God bless all ploughmen everywhere
Preparing fertile soil,
Who seek no fortune, but a fair
Reward for all their toil.

God speed the plough in every soul;
Prepare us for your seed
Then sow your word to make us whole,
In praise and service freed.

© Tony Ingleby 2001.
The words of this hymn may be copied provided the above copyright acknowledgement is included

Worship index
Main index


Rogation hymn with alternatives for Plough Sunday and other seasons

Lammas Hymn

Plough Sunday Service

Ps 23 Hymn and
meditation

Hymn for Lammastide

First Fruits.
Tune - Camberwell

Bring to God the first fruits,
first fruits of our land:
Produce of his blessing,
labour of our hand.
Bring them with thanksgiving,
kneel before his throne.
Say that all we have is
of his very own.

Sing to God the first fruit,
first fruit from the grave:
Raised up for our blessing,
He who died to save.
Praise with hearts so grateful
Christ, the living bread,
broken unto death he
gave life to the dead.

Sing out from that first fruit
Spirit deep within,
though creation’s groaning
from the pain of sin;
we have hope to hold us,
we have faith to guide
till we’ve been gathered
at our Saviour’s side.

© Tony Ingleby 2004.
The words of this hymn may be copied provided the above copyright acknowledgement is included


Rogation hymn with alternatives for Plough Sunday and other seasons

Plough Sunday Service

Ps 23 Hymn and
meditation

Hymn and Meditation

Tony Ingleby reflects further on life's struggles for farming families.

A new hymn, meditation and readings based on Psalm 23

Lord, my shepherd! My provider!
Metre 8787D. Tune: Alleluia/ Daily daily/ Blaenwern/ Hyfrydol etc

Lord, my shepherd! My provider!
Nothing can I ever need.
Never hungry, never thirsty,
You provide for all but greed.
Yet it seems, if I speak truly,
Grass looks greener out beyond,
And my thirsty soul is fearful;
Troubled waters thunder on.

Signposts clearly point the way, but
Oft I'm close to turning back.
Hard and long your path's appearance,
Not some gentle, rambling track.
Illness, death and pain and sorrow
Lie along the way you tread.
Can you guide me and protect me?
Will I reach the goal ahead?

Then we're gathered all around you,
Fears rebuked and needs supplied.
Enemies see heads anointed,
Thirst and hunger satisfied.
Yes, good, kind and loving shepherd,
You were with me all my days.
Even death won't part me from you,
You provide for me always.

© Tony Ingleby 2003.


Meditation

The Good Shepherd Reading: Psalm 23. John 10:2-4,11.

Being a shepherd I should be very dear to you, Lord.
There are plenty of shepherds in the bible:
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob all had flocks.
Moses looked after sheep for his Father-in-law.
King David learned to lead and protect by looking after his Father's flock.
The prophet Amos was a shepherd
and Ezekiel used shepherds as the model for leadership.
'Shepherd' is even used as an metaphor for your care;
You call your people your 'flock',
the Psalmist says, 'The Lord is my shepherd!'
and Jesus said, 'I am the Good Shepherd!'

There's a lot of sense in it all.
Being a shepherd teaches you about care.
It's more than providing fields and food and fences.
It's more than long hours and disturbed nights.
It includes knowing them and being proud of doing the right thing by them.
'Animal welfare' is a very worthy phrase
but 'looking after my sheep' is all of that ... and more.
It's warmer and more gentle somehow, without being sentimental.

But just now it doesn't feel as though that's the way you look after me.
The Lord's my shepherd but it seems that I DO want.
The Good Shepherd has laid down his life for me,
but MY life and livelihood seem to be under threat too.
So why can't you lead us in green pastures?
I hoped against hope that after the storms of Foot and Mouth
there would be still waters of prosperity to drink from,
But even when prices and job satisfaction are high
the wolf of disaster isn't very far from the door,
The future is uncertain and it doesn't take a lot to upset the balance -
a new directive, more restrictions, more paperwork,
bad weather, an infection, a few more lambs dying, a fall off in demand...
The table prepared for family farmers isn't going to fatten us up.
And where oh where are your goodness and mercy for the shepherd
poisoned by the sheep-dip chemicals he was forced to use?
Have you deserted me in the face of economic forces,
like a hireling running away to save his skin?

My dear one, I have not run away.
I am near enough to hear the fear in your cry.
I didn't allow the name 'shepherd' to be used lightly about me.
In bible times a shepherd had to contend with great hardship and danger;
Wild animals and robbers, drought and shortage of pasture
were some of the enemies.
And a good shepherd never deserted his flock;
he did whatever he could to keep the flock together,
calling, watching and searching by day,
sleeping across the entrance to the fold at night.
He was the watchman, the security officer, the vet, the transport ....
He cared for every need.
And for this he received no honour.
Society treated him as a rogue.

So I am called the Good Shepherd.
And my sheep can't expect to walk in smoother paths than I have walked.
I will go with you through every dark valley,
illness, loss, pain, disappointment, poverty, mockery, even death.
I know my way through them all;
I've been there before and come through.
I can offer you that hope.
When you lose sight of me I can tap my staff on the ground
so that you know I'm still there.
But I don't pretend that I am going to just lift you out of the valley.
I'm not a lottery ticket or a happy pill.
I'm the Good Shepherd.
I know you, I hear you, I care for you and I am with you

You have chosen a demanding way of life
and you live in a demanding society,
demanding but disconnected:
A consumer society, consuming product and producer,
consuming past, present and future,
consuming the countryside and those who live and work there,
greedily consuming itself as it strays from my paths and pastures.
But I am the Good Shepherd, yesterday, today and forever,
and I will seek to save all but myself.
And that 'all' includes you, my dear one.

You are permitted to copy this for use in your service.
Please acknowledge '© Rev'd Tony Ingleby 2003'
as the author of both the hymn and the meditation.


Rogation hymn with alternatives for Plough Sunday and other seasons

Plough Sunday Hymn

Lammas Sunday Service

Worship index
Main index