The Blog of Pastor Mike Wilkins
"The long run" referred to in the title of this blog is, in the first place, the many years Mike Wilkins served as West London's solo pastor, and then its Senior Pastor, since he and his wife Deb moved to London (and this church) in 1984.
In these past few years (beginning November 2011,) Mike's various health challenges, particularly a serious and ongoing case of cancer, has added another layer to the "long run" metaphor, and lots to blog about. Mike is currently on an extended Sick Leave, but generally worships with the church family on Sunday mornings.
With the publication of a book he wrote in 2016 entitled "Glory in the Face" (now available electronically and in paperback from Amazon.ca, and other online venders), Mike has just launched a new website, which will serve as a sort of scrapbook for readers of the book, with relevant background photos, for example, of That Last Final Solo Canoe Trip in May, 2011, as well as additional information about the book, and--coming soon--a new set of blog posts, mostly about the peace of God and the joy of the Lord and the face of Christ and the strength to face anything. You'll find the new website now at www.gloryintheface.com.
Oct11SatOctober 11, 2014Harvest festivals have been celebrated in North America off and on since 1556 when the first governor of Florida enjoyed a happy meal/beach party with the local inhabitants. All these years later, it is our happy custom to celebrate the annual recurrence of that lifesaving/enhancing/enriching marvel we call “harvest.” It’s a natural thing to celebrate, and it’s almost as natural to bring a sense of gratitude to the table. But this second impulse raises a question. If we’re getting together to say “Thanks,” to whom are we saying it? Some people like to make it perfectly clear that they are not making a religious statement of any kind. They’re just thankful. Period.
Or they say, "No need to bring religion into it. With the whole family getting together, we have enough to argue about already." Well, really. Is there any point, or even any sense, in saying “Thanks” when there is no one to say it to?
It's a big question since there is so much to be thankful for, at this time of year, for example. In the previous six months or so, there was the summer sunshine that warmed the plants without scorching them. There was the gentle rain that watered the plants without drowning them. There were the plants themselves that produced the good stuff we are about to eat. Is it these lifeless things we should thank? Or is it the enormous yellow ball of ionized gas that we call the sun that we should be thanking; expressing our gratitude for pumping out light and heat by some process we call nuclear fusion? Is it the water vapor that kept the plants from dehydrating? The mysterious processes of evaporation, condensation, coalescence and gravitation by which those hundreds of tons of ocean water became airborne, blew inland, got themselves unsalted and in due time fell as summer rain?
To many of us, it just won't do to write a note of gratitude and mail it in an unaddressed envelop. We are too personally involved to express our gratitude so impersonally. So many of us have, quite logically I think, gone looking for the appropriate person to thank. But there’s no signature at the bottom corner of this painting. So where do we look? One answer to that question is the Bible. It says, “Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; sing praises to our God who covers the heavens with clouds, who provides rain for the earth, who makes grass to grow on the mountains, who gives to the beast its food.” And we say, All right then! It is God that we should thank.
And so we do. Tomorrow, many of us will, both in dining rooms all over the city, and at church.
"For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer." (1 Timothy 4:4-5 ESV)