Did you known that this Sunday July 4th is to be the first ever national “thank you” day? I must admit that I have only just found out about it and have now discovered that this came about as a grass roots idea only a month ago and has now grown to something that is expected to involve over 16 million people nationally. The idea is simply to remember and give thanks for people who have helped us, recognising that although we are all incredibly grateful to the NHS, there are so many other people out there that we also want to thank.
Christians have always understood the importance of thanksgiving and the pages of the Bible are full of songs of thanksgiving. However, we may also have grown up with the verses from Matthew 6 that begin: Beware of practising your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven.
The problem with this is that we can take it further as if it means “Don’t say thank you to me because then God won’t reward me.” As a child, I knew certain adults who if you said, “Thank you” for something would say “Hush, you’re taking away my crowns in heaven.” Purposefully or accidentally, this has come to mean that we don’t always remember to say thank you to people for things done in church. The rationale is that they are done for God and therefore it is not for us to thank them, but we all benefit from the time and talent given in our worship and church life. So I would like to say “Thank you”. Thank you to the stewards and those who deal with the finance, property, safeguarding, GDPR and other administrative tasks. Thank you to those who lead Junior Church, toddlers, ALOUD!, Life, the Universe and Pizza and all those groups that work with children. Thank you to those who are working to get coffee mornings, Friendship Circle and other small group work back up and running. Thank you to those who pray, formally or informally, to the musicians and Bible Study leaders, to the AV teams and those who take part in acts of worship, pastoral work, outreach and things that I don’t even know about yet but without which nothing that we do would be as good as it currently is. Thank you to those of you who offer lifts, pick up shopping and drop newsletters into letter boxes. Thank you to Trixie, Geoff and Jane and everyone involved in the Tea Party and Gift Day on the 3rd at Windsor, and to Jill, Keith and the team at Cookham Rise for the High Street allotment visit. You will undoubtedly have your reward in heaven, but in the meantime, thank you!
God bless, Vicci.