In this season of Thanksgiving, God’s care has been a prominent theme in our services. We were reminded that our response to His care should be to care for the world and each other. Benjamin Francis says;
Our Lord and Father keeps His watch
so very gently o’er us;
His gifts our homes He freely fills –
Pray that His Love be in us.
Gratitude without love can be selfish, focusing only on what we have had; but the exhortation to care, highlights the needs of others. And the world is full of need. Over the past few months we have heard constantly about the effects of climate change on communities and individuals, about lack of rain and fires, hurricanes and storms. We have also heard about the effects of war and terrorism in Afghanistan, and about the dreadful plight of refugees trying to flee from Haiti. We can hardly imagine such situations, and we are ashamed to remember the chaos caused in Britain a few weeks ago as people rushed to the garages to buy fuel, often unnecessarily.
But thankfully we can also take pride in the selfless and kind response of so many people in recent months. We have had new insights into the contribution of many workers, including lorry drivers, who we often took for granted. We also saw anew the relentless dedication of health service workers, teachers and carers of all kinds, who often look after the most vulnerable members of our society. And within our communities and families we also saw a new emphasis on helpfulness and neighbourliness.
To the Christian the motive for caring is God’s love in Jesus Christ. That is the motive that stands over and above our selfish nature; ‘We love because he first loved us’.
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich. (2 Cor 8:9)
Our Father, we thank you for all the blessings of our life,
especially blessings manifested in difficult circumstances.
At times when we have had to lean on one another,
it has often been a joy to discover unexpected help.
In the midst of international turmoil, war and riots
some have responded graciously in seeking reconciliation.
Refugees were helped and welcomed,
people who lost everything in storms or earthquakes were supported,
and charities of all kinds worked tirelessly to help the needy.
Thank you, that there is so much care in our world.
Help us all to reflect in our daily life the kind and selfless nature of Jesus Christ,
the one, that though he was rich, became poor for our sake.
May his love inspire us and guide us.
For the sake of his name. Amen