Sisters and Brothers,
How time flies! November is here and with it, remembrance of saints through the ages. It is good to thankfully remember the outstanding faithful witness of those who have gone before us, including the many who will never be canonized, but whose influence upon their generation included their inspiring many others in faith.
Surveys among Christian believers have shown that the relatively few persons in our time come to faith because of extraordinary preachers, teachers, ministers (call them what you choose) while most are inspired in the faith by the ongoing and rather ordinary, everyday witness of those in whom they see godliness- a Christlikeness that somehow captures their attention and wins them for Christ. So just do your bit. It may seem small but do it faithfully. Be among the living saints who inspire others to trust in God who enables them to become more than they dreamt possible.
And November is also the time for our Harvest Thanksgiving Festivals. While the name itself suggests appreciation for the natural harvest of farmers’ produce, fields of food and flowers’, it also directs us to give thanks for everything. At Harvest Thanksgiving, we truly want our lives to say, “For All Thy Gifts We Bless Thee, Lord”.
Yes, flowers and crops, fruits and natural things of beauty stare at us like reasons to say “thank you, God”; but so also our inherent gifts and abilities – the things that we, through grace, can do, and some so very well. We create things of beauty- music and song, poetry and rhyme, drama and musical story. There’s the craft of our skilful hands for which we pray “Prosper, O Lord, the work of our hands.” The gift of intellect, the technician’s skill, the teacher’s effective instruction, the singer’s inspiration, the artist’s impression, and so much more, are all reasons to say thanks.
And what better way to harvest these gifts but in producing good, showing in our lives the glory of God in how we do what we can, while the rest of nature does its part in telling God’s story? Yes, God is good and deserves all the glory. You and I express our gratitude best when we use well the gifts with which we have been blessed, when we knowingly live out our conviction that the gifts of God are for the people of God.
In God’s service,
Joan Delsol Meade, Pastor