Colin's letter for October 2019

For the fruits of His creation, thanks be to God, for His gifts to every nation, thanks be to God, for the plowing, sowing, reaping, silent growth while we are sleeping, future needs in earth’s safekeeping, thanks be to God. (Fred Pratt Green)

Dear friends, it is not natural to give thanks, just like it’s not natural to hate! You have to be carefully taught to give thanks. Parents and grandparents can bare out the truth to what I am saying. It comes natural for children to ask for things, to want them, to take them, but we teach them to say please and thank you. It’s hard but we will refuse to give without good manners being shown. I’m grateful to my mother who taught me to be thankful as a natural and easy blessing. The apostle Paul said give thanks for everything!

At harvest time we give thanks for both the success and bounty of the harvest every year, we celebrate rightly and as an act of faith say ‘Thanks to God’ Fred Pratt Green in his beautifully poetic way captures the gratefulness that we feel at our Harvest celebrations. This year for many farming families it was touch and go how bountiful this years harvest was going to be, torrential rain when they needed the combined harvester at full capacity, meant we had to hope and pray and trust God despite the weather forecast! Those who work the fields around us have my upmost admiration and I hope all was well in the end.

So although it can sometimes feel unnatural to give thanks in all things may I suggest three very good points:

·         To give thanks is a thoughtful thing to do and something most of us have been taught to do. Like in all things we need to practice it. Paul instructed in one of his letters to be thankful  ‘In all things and on all occasions.’

·         To give thanks is a wholesome thing to do.

·         To give thanks is a Christian thing to do and is a natural gifting in following Jesus Christ.

God’s provision is worth celebrating, as we give thanks to God for plowing, sowing, reaping, silent growth, future needs, just reward of labour, caring for the hungry and despairing, for the harvest of the spirit, For the wonders that astound us. Most of all that love has found us, thanks be to God. Enjoy the Harvest. Blessings as always. Colin