By the time you read this magazine, we will have celebrated our harvest services on 24th September; the allotment association had their show a few weeks before us, and you will probably have seen some of the tremendous entrants in the pictures on the cover. They confirm for me a long-held suspicion that I am not a natural gardener!
Harvest is a great time of year, because it gives us an opportunity to be thankful. Life can be so full of things to do, people to catch up with, or plans to make, that we can lose track a little of all the good stuff that is going on in the midst of it all. Sometimes, of course, it is the opposite problem: if we are lonely or bereaved, or life is a struggle for different reasons, we can find it hard to see the things to be thankful for amongst the difficulties too.
One of the big ideas of the Christian faith is that gratitude produces generosity. I have always felt that one of the signs of how grateful I am to God for all that he has done for me, is how much my instinct is to respond to the need I see in the world, including in people close to me, with generosity. (I’m not suggesting at all, by the way, that only Christians are generous, but I am suggesting that all Christians should be.)
As well as our Harvest services, which often offer an opportunity to give to those in need around us,
later on this autumn we will be having our shoebox service at Arminghall, which is happening this
year as a joint event for our whole group of churches on Sunday 29th October at 10.30am. It is a
great opportunity to show gratitude for all that we have, by offering generosity to those who have
very little. All it takes is an old shoebox, a few little bits from the shops (which you can start to
collect now), and a little donation to send it on its way. You can pick up a leaflet from one of the
churches, or google ‘Operation Christmas Child’. If you would rather just drop off a few items to be
packed into a box, then you can get them to the Vicarage or to Annie at Bluebell Lodge, Arminghall
Lane by the middle of October. Finished boxes can be brought along to the service, or dropped in
with Annie or at the Vicarage.
One of my favourite verses in the Bible says, ‘Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved
children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us.
God’s generosity gives us so much to be thankful for, and makes us generous in our turn.
Back to top of page