Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Surprising Stop on the A Train

I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.

~L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

This beautiful October Saturday's harvest festival featured pie contests, cake walks, live music, scarecrow decorating, children's activities and fun for all. Ahhhh, I do love a good fall festival, and this was one of the best.

Two things were surprising here: These photos were taken at the last stop of the A Train north of NYC just outside The Cloisters--hardly the location of a Deep South State Fair or a church carnival.

Secondly, the food was all complimentary.  Abundant, beautiful, carefully prepared and presented food--free for all. Homemade cinnamon sugar donuts.  Cookies of every kind. Brownies. Apple cider. The welcome sign meant just that. We knew no one there, and we were still welcome.

Just a delightful scene to come upon when I least expected it. We were on the way to somewhere else when we encountered the merriment. It beckoned us in.

I left wondering if our churches could be a little more inviting to those who venture near. 
Do we send the clear message that all are welcome, no matter who they are? 
Do we share with others as abundantly as we have received from our Heavenly Father's bounty--extending forgiveness without price, offering our best we can prepare in our relationships, not waiting to see what we can exchange in return?

That's the simple beauty of a fall festival: it's all about a community's celebrating the yield of the kitchen or the crops and enjoying October blue skies at their best. A wonderful precursor to Thanksgiving, October festivals serve as our warm up act for a season of giving thanks. Just to get the juices flowing, if you will. 

Thanksgiving is not merely a holiday; it is a way of life. Let us live as those who are willing to welcome others as we share what we have, especially in the life of faith.

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