Weekly Update - 23rd October

Dear sisters and brothers

Last weekend someone asked me when Harvest Sunday is and the question sparked an ‘online conversation’ about traditions and memories of harvest celebrations in the past: of creating beautiful displays at the front of church sanctuaries, baking special loaves, and collecting food to give to charities and food banks.  As I understand it, there isn’t a particular date set aside for Harvest Thanksgiving (after all, the harvest can be collected early or late depending on the weather) but there is some connection with Michaelmas at the end of September.  I am, however, writing this in the middle of the “tattie holidays” and, whilst I haven’t pulled a potato from the ground in a very long time, it does suggest that the ‘harvest’ is ongoing and reminds us that we should give thanks for our food, and those who produce it, at all times.

The image of harvest runs throughout the Bible.  You might remember Jesus telling his disciples that the harvest is plentiful but the labourers are few (Matthew 9:37) and referring to God as “the Lord of the harvest”: all of which suggests that God wants to gather in those who are ready.  In a similar way the idea of a harvest is often used as a picture of how God will bring all things together at the end of time.  It also helps us think about what is growing in our own lives, as in Hosea 10:12 where the prophet writes, “Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love…”.  We all know the well-used phrase, “you reap what you sow”.

All of these images and ideas remind us that God is at work, in the world and in our lives: planting, tending, caring and harvesting.  We are called to join with God in this work.  One of the ways we can reap the harvest is by giving thanks for and rejoicing in all of God’s goodness, and causing others to do the same.  The idea of sowing for the harvest also reminds us to pay attention to what we are sowing into our lives and into the world around us.  If we want to see an abundant harvest, we need to sow with that in mind.  Once again, it is the small seeds of spending time with God in prayer, quiet and reading the Bible; and the small acts of kindness, compassion, honesty and love, that will in time lead to a bountiful harvest.  There is no better time for sowing than now, and whenever the harvest comes, it will be worth celebrating.

This coming Sunday is the first of our afternoon Communion Services in the Community Centre: please do pray that it goes well.  Please also continue to pray for the whole congregation, and in particular for those who will not be able to come to the Communion Services, for whatever reason, and who have not been able to join in with services online or on the phone.  For those who are in that position I do hope that you know how much you are missed and cared about.  As always please do not hesitate to pick up the phone to me if I, or others in the church, can be of any help to you at all.

With love from Sarah and myself,

 

 

 

 

Rev. Ian Aitken

52 Ashgrove Road West
ABERDEEN
AB16 5EE
Tel. 01224 686929

iaitken@churchofscotland.org.uk
www.stockethillchurch.org.uk

Aberdeen: Stockethill Church of Scotland
Scottish Charity Number - SC030587

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