Tuesday 25 August

Thought for the day from Jill Tucker

Come, ye thankful people, come, raise the song of harvest home…..

‘Thank you so much for saying thank-you’, they said, ‘it made all the difference’. We instill in our children, and with good reason. During Covid, we systematically said thank-you, and it has been hugely appreciated.

Now we have reached Harvest, and we come to thank all those who supply our food, from the fishermen, farmers and growers along the supply chain to our supermarkets and shops. Maybe we cannot sing it, but nonetheless saying thank-you is transformational – it changes things. It is a powerful and vital thing: instead of looking at ourselves we focus on the giver. It acknowledges the worth of the giver – one of the greatest gifts we can give each other.

Beyond thanking each other though, we thank God our heavenly Father for his total provision for us – in creation, in our fellow humanity and in Jesus Christ.  It is also one of the greatest gifts we can give to God.  From beginning to end, the Bible exhorts us to give thanks to him for all that he gives us: ‘Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving’ says the psalmist. God delights in that, when we stop looking at ourselves and focus on him, and acknowledge his worth. 

Saying thank-you reminds us that it is God who is ultimately our provider. But can we still thank God when times are really hard?  Frequently in the Bible people have thanked God even when they were in the direst situation. From the horrors of prison, Paul was able to write: ‘Sing and make melody to the Lord in your hearts, giving thanks to God the Father at all times’. David, again and again, ends the bleakest of Psalms with a note of praise. In Psalm 13, he moves from, ‘How long, O Lord?’ to ‘I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt beautifully with me.’

How can we do that, when life continues to be so difficult for many of us? Try to list the many blessings he has given us, whatever they may be – our material blessings, the people in our lives, his salvation in Jesus Christ, and for his continued presence and power in our lives. Holding on to, and thanking God, for his faithful goodness towards us allows him to pour out those blessings on us. It is transformational.

The Revd Canon Jill Tucker is the Dean of Self Supporting Ministry