October 2021 letter
It is Harvest Thanksgiving on the first weekend of October. I am always glad to be reminded of the importance of giving wholehearted thanks for the Lord’s provision, which has enabled us to live another year and look forward to the next.
For many of us, it has been a tough year. With some of us, we may look at the state of things and wonder how easy is it to look forward. But we must not let the ‘times in which we live’ dictate the outflow from our hearts. When it is such an ‘up and down’ time, it is even more important to give thanks.
Do we think we are entitled to a smooth life? Do we have a right to problem-free existence? If such thinking is entertained by our minds, we do well to send it packing. A quick scan of international news reminds us that normal life on God’s earth is a struggle. Humans are best not to think in terms of entitlement or rights, but rather to give thanks for every good thing.
Those who feel entitled are often unhappy. It is no way to have your heart uplifted. Those who are grateful for even the smallest of mercies usually have a good measure of contentment. It helps a lot to give thanks.
At St Luke’s this harvest, we are full of thanks for God’s goodness in enabling us to resume all of our main services in church. The 9.50am Genesis Children’s group and the 10.30am Morning Service are getting going again. The 9am Holy Communion is enjoying hymn-singing and receiving communion bread at the front. The Wednesday 10.30am Midweek Communion is proving particularly good for those being extra careful with masks and distancing.
At St Luke’s this harvest, we are so thankful that it is only one year since we launched the Organ and Lighting Appeal. And now we have a replacement organ, paid for, with only £8,000 to complete our Appeal Target for the Lighting Project. It was not our preference to replace the organ. It was necessary because the 1850s organ, which had been overhauled twice, was no longer worth repairing or servicing, and in order to encourage the praises of God, we wanted an authentic organ in our historic church building. We are so grateful for the Lord’s timing and the gracious provision of a much better organ.
At St Luke’s we are grateful for our partnership with Barnabus Homeless Project, St Luke’s Brinnington, The Storehouse Foodbank, Christian Aid, and other work inspired by Jesus which helps us show our gratitude by giving to encourage the needy. This sort of work often makes us full of thanks because we realise there are many worse off than us. It is surely even better to be full of thanks because we have a Saviour who leads us in giving generously to those in genuine need.
As we restart more aspects of church life following the Covid lockdowns, we realise that we have many challenges to come. Our nation and other nations will have further ups and downs. But let us face the future with thankful hearts.
Yours in Christ,