I wonder if you find Autumn a surprisingly busy time of year. There is a lot to be done before winter takes hold and things restart after the summer break. I always feel the beginning of Autumn heralds a busy time in my life. As I get back into a familiar rhythm in my life, the church starts to celebrate Harvest and the tempo of my life increases still further. I always say despite the business that this creates, it is still a very enjoyable time of the year. Aside from my work life, the garden also requires my attention, I like to cut the hedges and prune the trees in Autumn. In addition to that the churchyards traditionally have a clear up and tidy up. It seems that there is a lot to do before the winter puts a stop to a lot of this work. I always hope that all this activity will help to keep me fitter and healthy if nothing else.
The month of October this year sees the climax of the Rugby World Cup on Saturday 28thOctober in Paris. If the world rankings are correct, the final should be between Ireland and New Zealand. I would be surprised if that proved to be correct because Ireland has never reached the final and the hosts France might be favourites with home advantage. Only time will tell who will be in the final and who will be the winners. Previous results and form will count for nothing when the whistle blows for the start of the final.
In church, we have been looking at stories that Jesus’ told the crowds about the Kingdom of Heaven. There are pictures of God’s overwhelming generosity and the question is asked of each of us, how should we respond? Can we ignore it and just carry on as we are? There is a sense God’s kingdom has broken through here on earth. The challenge that Jesus gives people is, do you carry on with paying lip service to a relationship with God or do you get involved by turning back to God and giving God a chance to guide and direct your life? As we look at Jesus we see that he makes a huge difference to those around him and he wants no credit but rather he redirects people to God who makes all the difference. I think it would be hard for most of us to say that we have never been aware of God, but have we got involved in God’s work with those around us?
Returning to the Rugby World Cup the team who focuses on each game and takes nothing for granted will mostly likely succeed. The emphasis is all about teamwork rather than individual performances or brilliance. Jesus reminds us to get involved in God’s work and to take no credit for our involvement but to redirect people to renew their relationship with God.