It’s that time of year again: the time for many harvest suppers – usually pie and pea; the time for harvest festivals and food baskets and harvest hymns; the time of year when we give thanks to God for the bounty of creation. I wonder how many of us give thanks every day, not just at harvest.
Many of us say the Lord’s prayer daily, asking God for our daily bread, but how often do we thank God that we have been given it? Is it really enough just to say thank you once a year at harvest, when God provides every day?
As we are challenged to remember to give thanks every day, we also need to remember the fact that some people don’t have enough to eat or clean water to drink. Should we blame God for this? Is it their fault? Has God failed to provide for them? I’m sure most of us would say this is not the case – so why do they not have food to give thanks for? The main problem is greed: those that have often take more than their share, making sure that they have more than enough, so much they have stores of it, whilst others starve.
The best way for us to give thanks is to share what we have, so that all have enough and so that we can give thanks together. Imagine a world where everyone has enough, where everyone is equal – that is what the kingdom of God will be like. We can’t bring the kingdom in alone, but we can do our bit. Be thankful for what we have, and share when we have more than we need, so that more people can have their daily bread.
There are many harvest hymns and I encourage you to read or sing your favourites. A hymn that reminds us particularly to give thanks every day is ‘Give thanks with a grateful heart’ by Don Moen (Singing the Faith 78).
God of the harvest, God of daily bread,
we give you thanks for the many blessings that you give us –
for food to eat, water to drink and clothes to wear.
Help us to remember to give you thanks every day.
Help us to share the excess that we have
as an act of thanksgiving
so that all may be blessed and all may give thanks to you.
You can donwload this Prayer for the Week here
Weekly prayers for September written by Revd Claire Rawlinson
Image by Stephen Radford on www.unsplash.com