The last time I had the opportunity to share with you was during the summer months. If you can think back to this time you will remember the sun shone nearly every day and the temperatures were high. We had no reason to complain, unless of course the temperature was just a little too high for your particular preference! Now that we are travelling further through the year each of us will confirm that the temperatures are dropping and the topic of this abrupt weather change regularly brings conversations which confirm that ‘Yes it’s cold’ and that ‘The wind is really strong today!’. Conversations about the weather at least appear to be rather gloomy. However, we should not be dismayed because as the writer of Ecclesiastes 3:1-14 reminds us ‘There is a time for everything, a time to plant a time to uproot.. everything is in God’s hands’ and travelling with God and trusting in him in all seasons acknowledging his greatness helps us to appreciate that ‘everything’ is beautiful in it’s time. At this time of year it is common for many people to publicly recognise that all the gifts around us are from God’s providing. This is the time people all around the world join to say thanks and celebrate in a regular tradition which devotes time to this we recognise it as a Harvest Festival. Of course we all give thanks for other things in our life too, we may be thankful that TVs, radios, and mobile phone jingles can be turned off occasionally and that silence in our homes can be enjoyed. We may be also thankful for piles of washing because it means our loved ones are nearby. However being thankful for God’s gifts around us that is celebrated in Harvest festivals all around our community are often replica’s of Harvest Festivals of years gone by. We continue to see people entering the Church or school buildings laden with gifts of fruit and vegetables and tins of food, which later are to be seen resting on the ledge of a window or at the chancel steps beautifully arranged for all to see. People of every age participate in a tradition that recognises that we cannot journey alone, rather we rely on God to provide these gifts for us and gathering to share these gifts and say thanks to God for these gifts is always a beautiful occasion. The psalmist reminds us Psalm 100:1-5 says, “Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs. Know that the LORD is God. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture’’ That is the good news to celebrate this October and every month of the year. God bless you all.
By Deaconess Jacqueline Thomson