Church of England Diocese of Manchester Christ Church Ashton under Lyne

Sunday Reflection

This weekend we are celebrating Harvest Thanksgiving at Christ Church. With abbreviated services and restrictions on moving around in church once seated, it will again be rather different to the traditional harvest services we have previously known in years gone by with the singing heartily the traditional harvest hymns, gifts being brought to the altar, a Sunday School presentation, etc. Nevertheless, this Sunday has been set aside for us to pause and think about all that we have and all that we enjoy. 

Traditionally we think about being grateful for the food that sustains us and which gives us all the nutrients our body needs so as to be healthy. However, the last 18plus months has made us all think, not only about the things we often take for granted, but also about some of the simple and lovely things which we have easily missed in life's busyness. Many people, for example, commented during the lockdown last year how nice it was to hear birds and bees, which they would have not normally noticed to the same degree.

Recently, we had panic buying of petrol, because of the shortage of drivers to deliver the petrol. Empty shelves too because of the shortage of HGV drivers to deliver food. Similarly, the lack of something as seemingly simple as Carbon Dioxide affected the supply of food and drink. It serves as a reminder that we need to be thankful for each other and for one another's gifts, skills and occupations.

So there are many things, as well as our food, which we could include in our Harvest thanksgiving - thanks for lorry drivers who bring our food and our petrol, thanks for supermarket staff and all who have not been able to work from home, the NHS and emergency services, our scientists who created Covid vaccines, thanks for contractors who have worked to carry out repairs to our homes....the list could be endless, and perhaps if we heeded the words of that rather old fashioned hymn, 'Count your blessings, name them one by one' then it might indeed surprise us what God has done and what we sometimes fail to fully appreciate. Blessings, Revd. David.

A Prayer: Eternal God, you crown the year with your goodness and give us the fruits of the earth in their season: Grant that we may use them to your glory, for the relief of those in need, and for our own well-being; through Jesus Christ, your Son our Lord. Amen.

The Readings: 1 Timothy 6. 6-10 Matthew 6. 25-33