Sunday 5th October 2020
I hope and pray that this letter finds you well. This Sunday we celebrate our Harvest Festival, although it may be somewhat different this year we will still celebrate God’s goodness and we look forward to the future when things will be different and back to some degree of familiarity. Remember last year when the church was packed and we had all those bags of food donated for the Food Bank? This year the theme from All We Can (the Methodist Relief and Development Fund previously called MRDF) is Change begins with a Bicycle. How are you at riding a bicycle? When did you learn, who taught you? Can you remember learning to ride?
You might be a keen cyclist who likes to ride everywhere or as much as possible. Having a bicycle is a great form of transport for anyone, but especially in some parts of the world where transport infrastructure is poor or even none existent, it can help people get to school, work or to see friends or relatives. Owning a bicycle can help break the cycle of poverty.
This week, we look again to our gospel reading the account of the feeding of the five thousand. Have you ever had someone unexpectedly turn up at your house for a meal? Imagine having five thousand people turn up, all at once unexpectedly, what a challenge! We find this account taken from John 6: 1 -15. Philip is understandably alarmed and asks Jesus what they are going to do to feed all these people. He quickly calculates that it would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread just to give everyone one bite! If he had been given enough warning then perhaps he could have worked out a plan to feed everyone but he didn’t have any time to prepare and the crowd assembled were hungry and needed an immediate response.
In the account Jesus acts to ensure that everyone is fed and demonstrates how amazing things can happen. A young boy is found and is brought to Jesus with his little pack-up probably prepared by his mother. Jesus uses an ordinary boy and his pack-up to do something out of the ordinary. The same is true of us, when we bring what we have to God, God can do amazing things but we have to be willing to bring an offering in the first place. We may be ordinary people but we serve an extraordinary God and for that we should give our thanks and praise. This harvest let us celebrate, the work of All We Can and Food Banks helping people in their need and transforming things for the better. Whilst we all continue persevering in these strange times let us never forget, the best of all God is with us, so let us celebrate and praise the Lord of the Harvest, this harvest time.
May our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of the Harvest, bless us now and always,