Rev Sheila Cameron’s Harvest sermon ended with thoughts on our reading from the final chapter of Paul’s First Letter to Timothy (1 Timothy 6:6–19) …
We do, of course, have basic needs for food and clothing, and Paul (v.8) acknowledges that, but the danger lies in our tendency to pursue the unnecessary. A.K.M. Adam remarks that there is “a transition from basic food and clothing to nice food and clothing, and from there to stylish clothing and rich food [that] takes place gradually.” And there, of course, lie the pitfalls: the competitiveness, the envy, the getting into debt, the descent into dishonesty. “The love of money,” writes Paul, “is the root of all kinds of evil” (v.10).
In contrast to the worldly discontent that leads us astray so very easily, Paul writes of another way, a way that recognizes the uniqueness and transcendence of God. God is “the only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords”, the one who “has immortality and dwells in unapproachable light” (v.15). This God provides for us richly “with everything for our enjoyment” – and we acknowledge this especially in the harvest season. The Christian life is far from dull, but on the contrary full of all the interest and stimulation, adventure, refreshment and comfort we need. In Christ, we are invited to “take hold of the life that really is life” (v.19).
Living in the light of the Resurrection, wherever we go, whatever the changing circumstances of our lives, we know we will encounter the living presence and the love of Christ. So let us set your hope on him and “take hold of the life that really is life.” Amen.
Read the whole of Sheila’s sermon at this link.
The picture by Frans Francken “Christian deeds of mercy” comes from the collection of the National Museum in Warsaw, and is used via Wikimedia Commons.