At the beginning of October we will be celebrating our Harvest Festival in both churches. We’ve been plugging the date for a while now so I hope that we will have plenty of gifts (food and otherwise) to give away. Giving is a sign that God has blessed us with enough to share; and that will be true of all us. So let’s show our gratitude to God and share his generous provision with those in need.
For God’s Old Testament people, giving to God and to the poor was part of the pattern life and worship, and the early church were even more generous. Acts 2 records how the early believers shared their wealth, and how some even sold property and brought the proceeds to the apostles to share amongst the poor. Overwhelmed by thankfulness for God’s grace to them in Jesus and filled with love for one another, the early disciples recognised that all they had came from God, so they praised him for it and gave generously, sharing with believers in need.
But the attitude of gratitude that leads to generous giving should also mark us out when we have nothing at all. The great Bible scholar Matthew Henry was once robbed by a highwayman. In his diary he wrote: I am grateful that I escaped with my life; grateful that I had little- so he took little; grateful that it was him stealing and not me; and most grateful that he could not take my greatest treasure- for that is safe with Christ in glory. That’s an attitude of gratitude that we, in the affluent west, would do well to copy. For we have truly been given much by God.