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Rector’s Letter October 2021

Dear Friends,

Harvest Joy

“He (God) has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.”
Acts 17.17

That is what we need more of during this pandemic, isn’t it? Our hearts to be filled with joy. There’s so much anxiety about, it seems. We worry about the economy, unemployment, loneliness and the virus. But still, God can fill our hearts with joy. He gives the Christian believer a joy that the unbeliever doesn’t have. He fills us with joy as we believe in Jesus Christ.

What a great verse describing a great God. Notice, of course, that he is a good and kind God. If you have ever got the impression that God is unkind or nasty in any way or harsh, you have got the wrong God. Even when he exercises his judgment (which he does and he will) he does so out of his goodness and justice and fairness. Or, if we ever read something about him in his Word and think: ‘that is not good, that’s not fair, that’s not kind;’ then the issue is with us, not him. What he says is always good. What he does is always kind.

As the verse says, ‘He has shown his kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons.’ We take these things for granted, but harvest time and indeed all the seasons are part of the way God has designed his world. They are the way he shows his grace to everyone – to every person on this planet. We are so used to the pattern of the year, that we often don’t look behind the pattern (the seasons) to see the designer. It is God! God has deliberately arranged his creation to allow planting in the spring; and flourishing, blossoming growth in the summer; and harvesting in the autumn; and then rest for the land in the winter. These are good and kind gifts that come from him.

And the verse goes on. ‘He provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.” God provides. At Harvest Thanksgiving we will have examples of his provision around us in church. Indeed everywhere we look we see what God has given us. Go outside, experience the seasons, the warmth of the sun, the wet of the rain. Go into Tesco’s or Sainsbury’s and look at all the produce there. Everything comes from him. Just pause the next time you go shopping or get an online delivery. Can you see it? Not everyone can see it. Can you see God’s provision, everywhere? Just as the verse says, ‘He provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.’

Sincerely in Christ
Bill