A QUESTION OF FAITH
With Peter Bolton of the Hope Community Church IT is that time of the year, when up and down the land harvest is being celebrated. It is an important festival, for a couple of reasons.
Firstly it is a good opportunity to give to other people. I remember in the mid 1990s in the church I was serving we collected particular food and sent it to those in need in Romania. The local schools also made collections and we got them all together for the organisation to come and collect them and transport them to Romania. Today many people bring tin food etc and many donate this food to foodbank who seek to help people in this country and in our own locality.
But, secondly I think harvests are important because they are a time when we stop and say thank you to God for all He has given us. Being thankful should be a more important part of our lives. It helps to encourage people, who have acted in a kind way, it also helps us from being too inward looking, being selfish. It causes us to see the good in others and acknowledge that. It can also be contagious. I found myself in a long line of slow moving traffic recently and someone wanted to join the queue, so I waved and let them come in front of me. They thanked me and further down the road they did the same they let another person join the queue.
I recently was looking over some photographs I took in India where I visit every year. I looked again at the ‘houses’ people lived in, a place made from corrugated sheeting and tarpaulin. The little food they had, no clean water, little access to medical care. We may complain about things in this country, but when we consider what we have we need to be grateful for all we have. Again, an attitude of thanksgiving delivers us from being ungrateful and sadly an attitude of being ungrateful doesn’t build people up, as being thankful does. There is a lovely story in the Bible of ten lepers that came to Jesus and wanted to be healed. Jesus told them to go to the priest and on their way their skin was healed. Yet only one came back to Jesus to say thank you for healing him.
Today why not pause for a moment in the business of life and give thanks to God for all He has blessed us with, friends, family, food, homes, safety and the list could go on. We need to develop an attitude of thankfulness. Especially remembering that the God of all creation, loves us and wants us to get to know Him and when we do we have even more to give thanks for.