An Indian short story, ´the curtain´ tells of a family living in a poor section of a city, where the family members always portray themselves to be doing pretty well on the outside, but the reality of their sad condition was veiled by a curtain on their front door. Inside their house, there was hardly any furniture or even utensils, as most of it had been sold to provide the family with daily sustenance; they wore torn and tattered clothes and were constantly in lack of even a proper meal. This perhaps aptly portrays the Indian condition, veiled by a curtain of the flamboyant Bollywood film industry with their glamorous stars and music and dance, a boast of the rich cultural heritage, an emerging nuclear power with great achievements in the area of science and technology; but behind it all a country that can be best described as ´caught in a vicious circle of poverty´, torn between the filthy rich and the poorest of poor, reeling under the pressure of a growing population that just cannot be sustained! And so the story goes, that we gained our independence, and yet are not free! I still remember the bleak and daunting scene of one of the most luxurious five star hotels in the country, with lavishness unmatched by any other, practically laden with gold, and serving food fit for a king, and this only to be blemished by a slum right outside its front door, with starving children, garbage strewn in every nook and corner, houses without roofs, and no drinking water for its miserable residents. Forgotten by the rest of the city, but attracting a scornful eye of those who perceive it to be a blot worth wiping off the face of the earth. To add to the misery, the land is festering with corruption at every level, the recent spurt of violence against women, human trafficking, especially that of innocent children, well portrayed in the movie ´slum dog millionaire´, and now the icing on the cake is the increasing tension in Kashmir, a land most beautiful, yet disfigured by years of unrest! The situation is sadly inching its way to a crises, especially given both India and Pakistan´s long lasting rivalry and the threat of a nuclear weapons as well.
In all of this desolateness, if there be such a word, I believe our Lord´s calling is pertinent, ´follow me, and I will make you fishers of men´. Indeed it is also true that ´the harvest is plentiful but the labourers are few.´ As we plan to celebrate this harvest festival, while being grateful to God for the plenteous he has bestowed us with, may we seek God´s wisdom to equip us to be faithful harvesters for his kingdom; harvesting not only his many blessings and bountiful gifts, but also the many souls, lost and longing for a saviour. May Jesus words ring clear in our ears, ´I have come that they might have life, and have it abundantly.´
May I also commit to your prayers:
- The multitude of people in India who do not know where their next meal would be coming from
- Those who have no access to clean drinking water or basic health care
- Widows, orphans, the homeless, the marginalised and the mistreated
- Rising tension in Kashmir and the residents there whose lives have been tossed into turmoil
Harvest at St. Catherine’s
- A harvest of words… Saturday 19th October – Book Sale – 10:00-16:00 – Anglican Centre
- A harvest of talents… Saturday 19th October – Talent show – 17:00 – St. Catherine’s
- A harvest of food… Sunday 20th October – collection for Schwäbische Tafel
- A harvest of giving… Harvest traditionally provides us with the opportunity to review our financial giving as part of our giving thanks for God’s good gifts: “all things come of you and of your own do we give you”. If you have not yet thought about planned giving please catch up with Jackie our treasurer or Allison and Kingstone our wardens about next steps or complete a planned giving form here.
For those already giving to St. Catherine’s by bank transfer: firstly thank you for your support, secondly: please watch out for a letter from Jackie our treasurer, we are currently moving our bank account to a bank that doesn’t charge for their services and has branches in Stuttgart.
October’s News-sheet is now online and available in hard copy in church / the Anglican Centre on Sunday.