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by The Rev’d Rhona Knight


Praise him with trumpet sound;

praise him with lute and harp!

Praise him with tambourine and dance;

praise him with strings and pipe!

Praise him with sounding cymbals;

praise him with loud clashing cymbals!

Let everything that has breath praise the LORD!

Praise the Lord

As we move through autumn it is very difficult not to praise God. As we look at the cascades of leaves falling from the trees in wonderful ariegated colour we are encouraged to praise our creator God, who designed not just the trees we see but the whole cycle of life and the journey through the seasons. Last month at Oakdene we praised, shared and created with paint and paper and fabric using the fallen leaves while looking out at the carpet and canopy of October hues of brown and orange and gold in the garden.

As we look at the trees shedding their leaves we can be reminded about the joy that can be found in letting things go. Many of us can find areas of unforgiveness and resentment in our hearts. These things can continue to wound and harm us and bind us and hold us back. Yet as we let go, as we ask God for a forgiving heart, and as we begin the journey of forgiveness which may not be complete this side of heaven, we experience a release and peace becomes possible.

As we walk through the leaves and hear them crunch beneath our feet we are reminded of other feet who have walked with us through leaves but who are no longer with us. We give thanks for them and entrust them to God. The Time to Remember service for those who have lost children through miscarriage, abortion or stillbirth and the Family Remembrance service reminded us all of the pain of grief but also of the hope and joy of resurrection.And as we absorb and enjoy the autumn colours we begin to notice the emergence of red poppies filling the landscape and churches and cathedrals through the land which have been created and gathered

together to help us remember – lest we or our children ever forget – the sacrifice of those who gave their lives that we might be free. And then we remember again the Advent story and the gift of God in Jesus, who in his love for us became man and gave his life for us that we might be free. And our response, along with everything that has breath, is praise.


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Sep 14, 2023

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