The harvest season has long been a time to give thanks, to rejoice in the good things God has provided. From feasts of celebration in Old Testament times to today’s Thanksgiving meals with loved ones, times of abundance have always moved people with good hearts to express their gratitude to our gracious and generous God.
In the same way, this season has also been marked by acts of generosity and concern for those in need. God commanded Israelite landowners to allow the poor to glean their fields, letting them walk behind the harvesters and pick up leftover stalks of grain. That was how Ruth and Naomi survived their first year back in Bethlehem, gleaning from Boaz’s field.
Jesus also called on His followers to care for those in need, quietly and without drawing attention to yourself (Matthew 6:1-4). He calls us to love people in practical and sacrificial ways, like the good Samaritan, who delayed his journey and spent his own money to help a stranger recover from his injuries.
As we enjoy God’s blessings and give thanks for the abundance of all He has given us, we have several opportunities to join together in caring for those in need in our community. Let me highlight a few ways you can be generous this season to help lift up people who are struggling or hurting.
During November, we are collecting donations for Covenant World Relief. CWR reaches around the world with the love of Christ in response to natural disasters and into regions of long-lasting poverty. The funds we contribute will be added to money given by Covenanters from across the denomination to enable these important works of compassion.
We will also touch families in our community through the distribution of Thanksgiving Baskets. Your donations of non-perishable food items and money will provide healthy and bountiful meals for families connected with our church. If you know a family in need who could benefit from a Thanksgiving Basket, please share their information with me or Ron Miller.
As we look ahead to Christmas, we will put up the Love Tree and provide gifts for people in the Rockford area. Love Tree gifts benefit children at Rock House Kids, families at Rockford Rescue Mission, and other young people connected with our church. We will take gift tags from the Love Tree on a Sunday morning later in November.
This year, we also have a new opportunity to share God’s love with others by spreading the word about Iglesia del Pacto Vida Eterna and the growing ministry of Pastors Mario and Patty Torres. You can help by praying for them and by connecting Spanish-speaking neighbors or friends to Mario and Patty.
And as always, we hope to finish the year at Broadway in a strong financial position. God has blessed our church for many years, enabling fruitful ministry and joyful fellowship through the generosity of our church family. So far, 2019 has seen strong and consistent giving to our church, and I trust that will continue through the end of the year and into 2020.
In so many ways, God shows His grace to us. In response, we give Him thanks and share with others from the abundance of our blessings. I pray that this season of Thanksgiving will also be for us a season of sharing the love and message of Jesus with people in need.