Give thanks

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autumn, nature, leaves

From the Manse...

The fact that when the morning alarm goes off in our house, it is still dark outside; the changing colours of the trees as I walk Brodie around the park and the 'autumnal feel' in the air, all point to the conclusion that summer is over. We are now in that period of mellow fruitfulness as we say our farewells to summer and await the coming of winter.

This is the period of Harvest Festivals and harvest celebrations. It is a time of gathering in, a time of bounty and a time of plenty. It is also of course a time of thankfulness.

Whilst the poignancy of saying thank you for a harvest safely gathered in, may now be lost on us by the fact that we can have what we want to eat all year round, there is, nonetheless, a sense of saying thank you at this time of year.

Our Harvest Festival services, whether accompanied by traditional harvest hymns, or modern worship songs, give us the chance to celebrate a constant and daily reality — that God gives us our daily bread. Yet, how good are we at remembering this fact outside of harvest time?

I remember how, a few years ago now, Rev'd John Hellyer the Chair of my previous District, in an almost throw-away line, said that he was more and more convinced that our worship and our prayers should be rooted and grounded in thankfulness.

We say thank you to God for our food and all that we have at Harvest time, but do we suffer from having a kind of selective amnesia for the rest of the year? After all, each day is a new blessing, each new dawn a new gift — yet how do we respond to this? Do we have a sense of thankfulness or do we simply take it for granted?

We know how much we can be disappointed when we do not receive a thank you letter for the carefully chosen gift or present sent, or our efforts and hard work go unacknowledged — how much more God, when we forget to say thank you for all that He continually gives us?

As we once more celebrate the harvest, may we also commit ourselves to continually saying 'thank you' to God for all that we have and for all that He gives us, for indeed we are richly blest.

With love and God Bless,

Keith

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