September greetings from Ros
Last month some us enjoyed the Christian Mindfulness sessions which have given us a small oasis of quiet in the busyness of life. In fact I seem to have had a very slow summer as a result of the bout of pneumonia. I'm struggling now to wind myself back up to the usual hectic pace.
Over the summer, as I've prepared the sessions, I've been reminded of Jabez's prayer in 1 Chronicles 4:9, a short prayer but one of both simplicity and depth: 'Oh, that you would bless me indeed and enlarge my territory.'
We are richly blessed by God, but I'm greedy and want God to bless us even more. As we celebrate Harvest once again, I'm reminded of how much God provides for us. We have an abundance of food to eat and simply have to turn on the tap for clean water to flow out. Yet, each Harvest festival reminds us that this is not the case for everyone in the world. We take so much for granted. If we run out of an item we can simply go to a shop and buy whatever it is that we need.
Even if this happens in the middle of the night, as some shops are now open 24 hours, so our needs can be met. We now expect to go to the supermarket and for the shops to be full to overflowing, and we get upset if we can't find the thing we want. Sometimes I think we are in danger of taking God for granted and forget to thank him for all he provides for us. We expect him to continue to bless us regardless of our attitude to him or dedication to worshipping and serving him. Let us this Harvestide join our voices with Jabez in asking God to bless us, not just a little bit but plentifully, not just as individuals but corporately as a fellowship.
As far as increasing our territory is concerned, my thoughts turn to growth and extending God's family. We have an opportiunity early next year for an Alpha Course and now is the time for us to be praying about who we should invite to join us on the course. We should also be starting to invite people so that they can place the dates (Tuesdays starting on 18th January) in their diaries. We need to be praying that God will grow the fellowship here.
'That your hand would be with me, and that you would keep me from evil'
Harvest reminds us that God has been with us, caring for us and providing for us. Next month we celebrate our Church Anniversary which reminds us that God has be so faithful to us as a fellowship over the generations, as he has lavished love and care upon his people here. And we want him to continue to do so, that his hand will continue to be with us and bless us, but we need consistently to seek God's hand of provision of resources and strength for us to accomplish his purposes for us at this time. We need God's protection as we continue to seek to be the people that he wants us to be, doing the things he wants us to do. We need to continue to listen to the voice of God, and then need to respond in doing the things he leads us into. Remember that God never lets us down, so let's not let him down!