Autumn is that wonderful season when gardens are harvested, fields are filled with ripe crops and the last of the fruit is ready for consumption. As you can see in the picture this week I have a good harvest of grapes on my vines again this year, great snacking fruit for me and my wife.
I am so thankful for this time of harvest. Over the years I have learned that what I take for granted – abundance – is not the reality of so many people in our world. In fact we are in the minority. Still people will gripe because their special apple is not in the grocery store, or lettuce is too expensive, or there are only three brands to choose from when getting dairy products. Really? Some people would be happy with one choice.
Yet the abundance in my life does not stop with the produce and foods in our store. My life is filled with blessings, from safety to running water, from reliable internet to a consistent supply of electricity, from secure housing to clean clothes on my back. There are doctors and a hospital in my community. We have police and a great fire department to keep us safe. We have schools and churches in every area of our city. We have amazing parks, safe enough to enjoy every day of the year, and streets we can walk day or night. We have a beautiful harbour and majestic trees that grace our city. I have so much to be thankful for and I want to be sure I live with an attitude of gratitude, not just this Thanksgiving weekend (Canada) but every day of every week.
But what if all this was stripped away? I think many people were afraid this is what COVID-19 was threatening to do. Would I still have something to be thankful for? What if I lost my health, my wealth, my security – could I still find something that I would be grateful for?
The Apostle Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 9:15, “Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!” He is talking about Jesus. Paul knew that everything else could be stripped away but one thing could not be taken – Jesus. This indescribable gift was greater than all the others put together, and will outlast them all. This Thanksgiving, be grateful for all you have, but especially be thankful for Jesus.
– Pastor Gary