November 2018 - Autumn has always been my favorite season. The cooler temperatures and the ever-changing tree colors bring me joy and lift my spirits. The burnt oranges and reds of transforming leaves paint the landscapes with blazing new brushstrokes progressively more each and every day.
Just mention the word "fall" and dozens of memories flood my mind: Karen and I were married in the fall. We ran the Twin Cities Marathon in the fall. Fresh cut grass has its own unique smell in the fall. Then there is the sound of baseball playoff games and the thrill and dread of watching yet another Viking kicker try to win a game.
These sights, sounds, and smells trigger Saturday memories from my childhood of autumns past as well. Piles of leaves to dive into and their distinct odor permeating my clothes. Late afternoon touch football games in the street with half the neighborhood kids involved in the fading light. We play until the last one is called to dinner, each family with its own unique dinner call. I also recall the orange, black and amber decorations of Halloween appearing around the house as the days grew shorter and darker. Such warm and wonderful memories.
I think we are drawn to this changing of seasons, even in our homes where we don’t harvest any crops, because of the belief that rewards are coming for all of our hard work. We hold dearly to our evidence-based belief (Hebrews 11:1) that heaven awaits those who put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ. This is that faith which keeps us going. Fall symbolizes harvest and the promises of new life and growth fulfilled, yet also bears witness to the harsh reality of age and decay.
Whatever part of the world you called home growing up, whatever weather patterns symbolize fall for you, whatever traditions that your family holds to—or lets fall to the wayside—autumn always preaches a message of redemption, because a harvest only comes subsequent to death and burial. Resurrection only resounds when something or someone has first come to die.
As the seasons turn and we move through the cycle, from summer to fall, from winter to spring, we enjoy the gifts that each one brings as they point to the beauty and rhythm of Gods amazing creation. In each of them, we see the pattern God built into all of creation and with it the hope and new life that is part of that pattern always. No matter what the season you are in in life, change is coming along with new birth and new life, always. Each season is a gift to be treasured even as it is passing, as a witness to the wonders, glories, and promises of God.
Let us give thanks to God in every season and forever.
I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels--a plentiful harvest of new lives. (John 12:24)