Some years ago, when I was a young Curate, I preached a sermon at a Harvest Thanksgiving service by accident. The church (which didn’t have a Vicar of their own at the time) borrowed me to take their Sunday morning service, but neglected to mention that it was in fact their Harvest! So I came prepared with a sermon about Jesus healing the 10 lepers which I, having failed to double-check, had thought was their set Bible reading for the day.
On the face of it there was no connection with Harvest at all – no mention of food or farmers, growing or harvesting anything. Leprosy then was incurable and believed to be highly contagious, so sufferers were banished from normal life and lived and died as beggars and outcasts. But the point of the story is that, after Jesus miraculously healed them all, nine of the ten didn’t even bother to say thank you. They simply rushed off to the local priests (who doubled as quarantine enforcers) to get themselves certified as healthy so they could come back into normal society. The only one who did go back to give praise and thanks to the God of Israel was a foreigner – another sad instance of those who presumed they were God’s “chosen people” missing the Messiah.
We often forget to thank God for all the good things that we enjoy, and when something really special happens we may be so busy celebrating that God gets forgotten altogether. Or looking at it another way, perhaps we only remember to give thanks 10% of the time – or is it just once a year?
Why not join us to say “thank you” at 10am at Rougham Church on 7th October? Our Harvest offerings this year will go to our local Foodbank (non-perishable tins/packets please) and Aid to the Balkans (cash gifts). Please give generously to those in need as your “thank you” to our great God.