Steve-ChickOne autumn weekend, whilst walking near a horse chestnut tree, I noticed the ground strewn with conkers.

It reminded me of being in my early teens hunting for conkers. The only ones I could find were usually still on the tree way out of reach. It was a dangerous place to be as I threw sticks and stones to try and knock them down. But on this particular autumn walk there would have been no need – now is the season for conkers. When the fruit is ripe, it only takes a light gust of wind to cause them to fall.

The writer of Ecclesiastes tells us, every season has its purpose. Despite confusion over the real meaning of Christmas, many people are more open to the gospel at this time of the year. In the run up to our Christmas events I believe God wants to encourage each one of us to be creative in making the most of this coming season through what we say and what we do.

All of us can support the Samaritan’s Purse Project, help with the Christians Against Poverty Christmas hampers, get involved with the Soup Service or support the Basics Bank. Let’s make a quality decision to remember the poor and the disadvantaged.

These next two months are also a great time to build community both within the church and with our neighbours. The Kings Chamber Orchestra on the 28th November will be well worth inviting friends and neighbours to come along with you. Even uncultured people like me, with no love for classical music, thought that it was amazing last year. I will definitely be there and hopefully bring several friends.

As the nights draw in towards winter we have a great opportunity to “shine like stars” and bring the “light of the gospel of the glory of Christ” into the lives of those living around us. Only God can change lives but let’s be ready, whatever the season, to give a reason for the hope we have!

Much grace