Talk Part 1 - Gratitude
We’ve just had a reading (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) in which Paul talks about giving thanks in all circumstances. Harvest is first of all about giving thanks to God.
In the time when people relied on the food they grew, a successful harvest meant they weren’t going to starve during the winter. It also meant they would have seeds to plant new crops in the spring. So a successful harvest was a time to celebrate, and to give thanks to God.
Today very few of us grow our own food. If we need food we pop to the supermarket, where there is always plenty on offer.
But it’s important to recognise and be grateful for the things we do have. To rejoice and give thanks always to God, for the blessings we have in our lives.
Maybe you’d like to jot down things you’re grateful for in a Gratitude diary – like this person…
What things are you grateful for? Share with your neighbour
Talk Part 2 - Our Response
I’ve talked about harvest and the importance of gratitude. But harvest is not just about being grateful, it is also about our responsibility to others, as this reading from the OT highlights…
Reading from Deuteronomy 24:19-22
In this reading God tells his people that when they are gathering in the harvest they shouldn’t take everything for themselves, but leave some of the harvest for the foreigner, fatherless and widow – in other words the poor, the disadvantaged, the stranger, those people in need.
Harvest is not just about thanking God for the good gifts we enjoy, it is also about remembering our responsibility to those less fortunate than we are. We know that there are many people in in our local community who need our help, such as the homeless and disadvantaged, and those who because of poverty have to rely on food banks to feed themselves. God calls us to love them, and care for them, and to share the resources he has given us, with them.
That is why as a church one of the charities we support, both practically and financially is The Glebe Centre, which supports some of the poorest and most disadvantaged people in Walsall. Earlier this year The Glebe Centre celebrated it’s 40th anniversary, this short video gives a brief insight into what difference The Glebe Centre is making.
God calls us not only to care for the people close at home, but to care for people around the world, many of whom live in extreme poverty. Which is also why as a church we also support charities like Christian Aid and Tearfund, that help some of the poorest people in the world.
So this harvest, we remember the importance of showing gratitude for the blessings God has given to us, and we remember our responsibility to share these blessings with those less fortunate than we are. Whether they be close to home, or far away, and whether they be the orphan, the widow or the stranger, we are to love them and care for them as if they were Jesus himself.