27 September 2020_Pentecost 17_Harvest Liturgy for Mid-Autumn (Full Moon) Festival (1 October 2020)

25 Sep 2020 by Seungjae Yeon in: Worship Online





Preparing for Worship


This week, the full moon will be above us from Wednesday night till Thursday night. The Moon will also reflect the Sun light, telling us that the season is changing. The night is shorter whereas the day is longer.


Some of us in our congregation have come from the northern hemisphere where this season people may celebrate the moon with giving thanks for their harvest and the year that all members of family have been well and good lucks have been near and close. It would be translated into the Mid-Autumn Festival as English equivalent. Some celebrate it as Harvest Moon Festival, 中秋節 (Zhōngqiū Jié OR Jūng-chāu Jit) in China, the Lantern Festival in Indonesia and 추석in Korea. Whatever people call it, they all give thanks for all that they have had no matter it is good or not. Thus, in this worship, we are invited to join a harvest liturgy, giving thanks to God.


We hope together that as we worship this moment, we may recall all God has done for us so far in 2020. We know it has been very tough and different to years that we lived before. However, our God is always the same to us, providing what we need and leading us to the path where his grace and love are prepared for us thru his Son Jesus Christ.



Acknowledgement for the First Peoples


I/We would like to begin by acknowledging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, as the Traditional Custodians of the land on which I/we commit to sit and pay my/our respects to their Elders past and emerging. I/We extend that respect to them with our faithful prayer in this worship.



Call to Worship


In Ecclesiastes 3, it says, “there is a time to sow, and a time to reap.” (verse 2) Yes, whatever now we face to harvest or collect, it is a time given and fulfilled by a God of time and all seasons. What would those be in your imaginary basket or harvest field? Are they looking good? Are they disappointing you? Is it too early or late?


Let us trust in God whose timing might be better than ours. Let us worship God who is now calling us to come before him bringing all thanksgiving to him and his people who we trust each other.


Let us worship God.



Song: I Will Worship You



Perfect You are my God

Righteous and Holy in all of Your ways

Revealing Your glory in all that You do

All men will worship You


I will worship You I will praise Your name

For You are the only Lord and King

I will worship You I will praise Your name

My desire is to honor You Lord


Lee, Rose Park

CCLI Licence # 260394



Prayer of the Day


Please join each other through the Holy Spirit in this prayer called “Harvest Thanksgiving Prayer”


Leader: The heavens declare the glory of God

All: The skies display the work of his hands

God of light and God of night
Creator of seed and mountain
raindrop and fountain
We bring our offering of praise.


God of right and God of might
Lover of child and childless
rich and homeless
We bring our offering of praise.


Leader: Do you not know? Have you not heard?

All: The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth (Isaiah 40:28)


By faith
I gaze up to the heavens
and know 
within its vastness
that this is your creation
planned and effected within eternity


By faith
I pluck an ear of corn
and know
within its symmetry
lies the chemistry of life
the potential of creation within my hand


By faith
I listen for your voice
and know
the whisper that I hear
breathed a world into existence
yet listens to the prayer within my soul


By faith
I strive to do your will
and know
the door that I approach
may lead me to shadows
where my role is to become your light 


By faith
I cling to your word
and know
the strength that I receive
has its source within the love
that is at the centre of all things

Leader: Listen to these words from Christina Rossetti (1830-1894, English poet) and think about them for a moment,

'Lord, purge our eyes to see
within the seed a tree,
Within the glowing egg a bird,
Within the shroud a butterfly,
Til, taught by such, we see
beyond all creatures, thee.'


Leader: For the beauty of a country scene

All: We praise you Lord for sight

For the coolness of a mountain stream

We praise you Lord for touch

For nightingale in tuneful flow

We praise you Lord for ears

For the taste of fruit that we have grown

We praise you Lord for senses

Creator God, for daily bread 
and all who work 
to bring your harvest home
we bring our thanks today.


Forgive our ingratitude
we who have so much
yet waste what you have given.


For those whose harvest is poor, 
whose crops have withered, 
water tainted, children starve,
help those who bring relief
and bestow on us 
an unaccustomed generosity,
that all might share from your garden
and all might sing your praise.


Creator God, provider of all
we bring our thanks today.
And we bless each other
that the beauty of this world
and the love that created it
might be expressed though our lives
and be a blessing to others
now and always


Retrieved from www.faithandworship.com



Introduction to the Peace


By prayer and supplication with thanksgiving,

let your requests be made known to God.

And the peace of God,

which passes all understanding,

will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

(Philippians 4:6-7)


The peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

And also with you.


You may make a phone call or send a text message to pass the peace to members of our congregation. Your elder would appreciate if you ring or text them. 



Reading: Matthew 21:23-32 (New Living Translation)

Alan Keast



The Authority of Jesus Challenged


23 When Jesus returned to the Temple and began teaching, the leading priests and elders came up to him. They demanded, “By what authority are you doing all these things? Who gave you the right?”


24 “I’ll tell you by what authority I do these things if you answer one question,” Jesus replied. 25 “Did John’s authority to baptize come from heaven, or was it merely human?”


They talked it over among themselves. “If we say it was from heaven, he will ask us why we didn’t believe John. 26 But if we say it was merely human, we’ll be mobbed because the people believe John was a prophet.” 27 So they finally replied, “We don’t know.”


And Jesus responded, “Then I won’t tell you by what authority I do these things.


Parable of the Two Sons


28 “But what do you think about this? A man with two sons told the older boy, ‘Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.’29 The son answered, ‘No, I won’t go,’ but later he changed his mind and went anyway. 30 Then the father told the other son, ‘You go,’ and he said, ‘Yes, sir, I will.’ But he didn’t go.


31 “Which of the two obeyed his father?”


They replied, “The first.”


Then Jesus explained his meaning: “I tell you the truth, corrupt tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the Kingdom of God before you do. 32 For John the Baptist came and showed you the right way to live, but you didn’t believe him, while tax collectors and prostitutes did. And even when you saw this happening, you refused to believe him and repent of your sins.


This is the Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.




Seung Jae Yeon



When my three children were all little, Grace and I used to give them the most difficult and challenging question for them to answer in the world: Whom do you like more: your mother or your father? I still remember that their answer was not always the same. If I asked, “mother or father?”, they answered, “father” whereas they answered, “mother” if they were asked, “father or mother?” No matter whom they liked more, they answered the one after the other in the question. They would have memorised the one last then answered. Trust me. I did so many times then it was proved.


Then as they became primary schoolers, they had complained about the question rather than answered. They looked so angry or upset if they were asked the question. They declined to answer. Or Heather once answered, “I like mother and I like father too” which was a political stance she took. There existed a classic love or hate relationship between our children and us so that they could have not stood us. As we got to know and found out more each other, they can answer the question why they like mother and father. They seem not to separate us as individual ones in family. I, with Grace am a father whom they love and vice versa. But, I still believe that they always like me more than Grace. No reason. It is my belief so don’t need to prove. So whom do you like more? Answer to yourself.


In the passage, Jesus and his authority was challenged by some religious leaders either in the temple or in the community by the question: What authority are you doing all teachings here? Who gave you the right?” Jesus did give them a question rather answer them. He asked, “which direction did John’s baptism come from? God or human?” The answer seemed to be obvious. But the religious leaders needed to discuss about it. Then they chose two simple cases. By fear and misunderstanding of who God really is, they said, “we don’t know.” How dare they respond like that before Jesus, the Son of God. They knew all clues to answering the question in their discussion, but they simply said, “don’t know.”


The question Jesus threw to them would disturb their time, roles, positions and their own faith in their religion. They seemed to be worried about the challenge against their religious leadership or achievement in society, and people’s thoughts and acceptance of John the Baptist, who was for them the most dangerous religious sect during their time. They were ensnared the moment they answered, “don’t know.” Jesus needed no answer their question asking him about the origin of heavenly authority. But he continued challenging their behaviour of ignorance, disobedience, and arrogance in religious authority by telling a parable. Ironically, in the encounter with the parable, the priests and elders were able to answer. They thought the older boy was right because he said no but went to work later on for his father’s vineyard.


Also they knew the other son was wrong because of his ignorance, disobedience and arrogance in his response toward his father’s will. The religious leaders were again ensnared by answering the question from the parable. Corrupt tax collectors and prostitutes who were socially and religiously distanced from mainstream society came into the parable and then made the religious leaders a shame to the listeners of the Jesus’ story, and cowards among the Matthew’s community. Because the leaders of Jewish religion didn’t answer the simple question. Because they never turned back to God as they practice its religion. Because they did not want to be challenged by truth, though it comes from Jesus, the Son of God. They would have wanted people to be in silence whatever they said or practiced. The tension in Jesus’ performing miracles and telling stories was not welcomed at all among them. Saying ‘don’t know’ was the easiest way to ignore others and even the Son of God. Thus, in Matthew’s story, they were worse than those socially marginalised. Their noses were high but their position in the kingdom of God was lower or not given.


I thought about the image of God from this passage. What would be the image of God for me? And how would I express it if I am questioned? Simply hope and confidence in my imagination be and work like God so that I do my best in my life to imitate the image for myself and others. There are many hindrances and obstacles before me but I do hope and am confident in words and deeds because of God who I love more. Yes, I love my work in ministry, all my parishioners, both my parents and Grace’s mother, walking, Arong, cooking, three children and Grace. But I can tell I love God more. Never said, “I don’t know” since I turned back to God 20 some years ago. The image of hope and confidence has brought me so far here at Boronia Park Uniting Church as religious minister for all of you. Rocks and mountains would sing for who God is if I am in silence. I am for sure that you have your own imagination as you think about who God is for your family and yourself. Also you can always answer the question – whom do you love more? What is your answer now?


The answer you have in mind may come from your gut and deeper part of your true self – the relationship with your God. I believe that we have learnt and are learning to know, understand, love and respect the relationship which is the most sacred place in your entire life. Nothing breaks it or owns it. Only between you and God the relationship grows. In your leadership if appropriate, your maturity, your commitment, your care and love, your words and gestures, your greetings and saying goodbyes, your favours, the relationship may come into your daily life. Some people may be challenged but most of them will appreciate because they might experience the presence of God and pre-taste the kingdom where all are welcome and the least are received than the most.


Please do not forget that this following week if you are in a position to say words or act as a disciple of Jesus Christ, God may call you to take part as the kingdom of God. Do not become silence but speak confidently as God speak to the world through us. Do act though it causes tension. God be with us always so we can do.                







Let us pray to God our creator,

who has given us the earth’s goodness for our delight,

and entrusted it to our care and tenderness.


For all who live in captivity to debt,

whose lives are cramped by fear

from which there is no turning

except through abundant harvest;


Lord, we pray:

may those who sow in tears

reap with shouts of joy.




For all who depend on the earth for their daily food and fuel,

whose forests are destroyed for the profit of a few;


Lord, we pray:

may those who sow in tears

reap with shouts of joy.


For those who labour in poverty,

are oppressed by unjust laws,

are prevented from speaking the truth,

and long for a harvest of justice;


Lord, we pray:

may those who sow in tears

reap with shouts of joy.


For all who are captive to greed and waste and boredom,

whose harvest joy is choked

with things they do not need;


Lord, we pray:

may those who sow in tears

reap with shouts of joy.



Save us from all that holds us captive,

restore our vision,

that our mouth may be filled with laughter

and our tongue with songs of joy.


Retrieved from www.churchofengland.org



Prayers of the People

Justin Han




Lord’s Prayer


Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be Your name,

your Kingdom come,

your will be done, 

on earth as in Heaven. 


Give us today our daily bread. 


Forgive us our sins,

as we forgive those who sin against us. 


Save us in the time of trial

and deliver us from evil.


For the kingdom,

the power and the glory are yours 

now and forever.





Song: Now We Are Nourished



Now we are nourished by Jesus our Lord,

now we are strengthened to live by his word,

now we are summoned to love and obey,

now we will walk in his way.


Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

Jesus who feeds us

knows where he leads us:

now we will walk in his way.


Now Christ has turned us from strangers to friends,

now we affirm that his love never ends

now for God’s kingdom we’ll work and we’ll pray,

now we will walk in his way.

Hallelujah! Hallelujah!


How that our journey of faith has begun,

though some may stumble while others might run,

Jesus precedes us into the new day:

now we will walk in his way.

Hallelujah! Hallelujah!


Text & arr. © 2015 WGRG c/o Iona Community, Glasgow Scotland

CCLI Song # 206394





The offering will be used for the congregation’s continuing mission and ministry including young people and youth ministry in these changing times. Please make your offering through a Bank Deposit or a personal cheque whichever is convenient to you.



Account Name: Boronia Park Uniting Church

BSB: 634-634

Account: 100023784

Reference: Offering  


Please contact Robyn Harvey, Treasurer on 0418 783 290 or robyn.49@bigpond.net.au for more information about how to make Direct Debit.





Would you like to come to a morning tea at our Church?


The Elders and Church Council are inviting our church family to some morning teas while we are still not yet in a position for Boronia Park to reopen for worship*. We will look again at the possibility of reopening closer to Christmas.


The three next morning tea dates are all at 10am on Tuesdays:


29 September,

27 October, and 

24 November, 2020. 


Do pop in your diary!


Beforehand, for planning purposes, please email, text or phone your Elder if you would like to come along.  


  • For this coming Tuesday 29 September, please let your Elder know by midday Monday 28 Sept. 
  • For the next two dates, let your Elder know by 5pm the Friday before if possible, 


  • We still must comply with our Covid Safe Plan and ensure our numbers meet the rules. 


  • We each bring our own coffee/tea etc- plenty of take-away cafes to choose from- so we can start promptly at 10am. 


  • Morning tea may last for 1-1.5 hour approx., depending on numbers and individual commitments.


For Tuesday 29 Sept, Seung Jae has arranged for Grace to play some lovely music and there will be a chance for each of us to share something interesting or funny from our recent experiences. 


Trial morning tea on Tuesday 8 September 2020 (photo: Seung Jae Yeon)


We had a 'trial' morning tea the other day and this worked very well - and very importantly- it provided a safe way to help us stay connected. 


However, we are keenly aware that not everyone in our church family is permitted - or confident - or well enough to leave their home at the moment. They are very much in our thoughts and prayers.


If the Tuesdays at 10am do not suit, for example, those who are working, please let your Elder know and we will happily consider some other options.


Next step? Let your Elder know if you would like to come to a socially-distanced morning tea on Tues 29 September.


Written by Rosemary Brook, Church Council Chairperson 





May the blessing of God,

the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

the Son who has encouraged all humanity to be faithful, and

the Holy Spirit who is the source of all goodness and growth,

be upon all things and its beginning and ending,

and upon us all his people who use gifts and talents

to God’s glory and the welfare to the world.