This Thursday Jodie and I will be celebrating Thanksgiving. We have people from different areas of life coming together to meet and share over food. Does that sound familiar? In last week’s MSC News Ben wrote about snacking and dining, well, for us, Thursday will most definitely constitute as feasting.
Thanksgiving goes back to 1621 when the Pilgrims feasted with Native Americans to celebrate their first successful harvest. This was a time of really giving thanks to God for the goodness of his provision.
Lately we have seen God’s provision, a lot of work has gone into producing a harvest, and we are starting to see the fruit of this labour throughout the network – and we should rightfully be giving thanks for this.
But as I think about thanksgiving and the fact that it brings people together, I can’t help but reflect on the recent events in Paris and other areas of the world. I’m struck by the need to come together – to show support and encouragement to others.
The solidarity that was shown on Tuesday night at Wembley Stadium as England played France was amazing to see – I never thought I would see that many Englishmen singing the French National Anthem, yet it was incredibly powerful, and extremely emotional. I feel challenged to respond with love and compassion. Not to put up the defensive wall, but to be welcoming.
I still think that God wants to do more in us and through us. As I have taken part in the huddles over the last few months, concentrating on finances, I have been enormously challenged about giving: not just in relation to money, but also in terms of the time I give to God, to those I share community with and to those who don’t yet know the love of Jesus. I have felt challenged to reassess priorities, to take stock of all the good things that are going on locally, and ask God – what it is you want me to get involved in?
The first Thanksgiving was a celebration of the harvest, shared by all who took part in bringing in that harvest. We are God’s chosen people, called to be workers of the harvest field, and the harvest is plentiful.
For many of you Learning Community is just around the corner. This is a great time for you to pause and celebrate the work that has been done. As you give thanks, remember there is more that God wants to do. What is the invitation and challenge he is putting in front of you?