Outside my window, I can see the signs of autumn approaching, in the natural world around me. And I am grateful to live in a part of the world where the changing seasons are obvious. Do the seasons matter to you?

 

As I watch the natural world around me, I can see the vibrant growth of summer slowing down. The mornings and evenings are noticeably chillier, berries and nuts are showing in some of the hedgerows. And in my garden, the rhubarb is beginning to wilt, fungi are appearing in odd corners, some of the trees are just beginning to shed their leaves, the squirrels are burying nuts and seeds all over the lawn and fighting for the best winter territory.

 

I always watch the changing of the season from summer to autumn with mixed feelings. I love seeing the natural autumn bounty of fruit and berries and nuts and fungi. I love watching the leaves changing colour, and scuffling through dry, fallen leaves, feeling like a child again. But although on the whole I enjoy winter, I do not welcome the onset of colder weather and longer nights. I like the comparative stillness of winter, but each year I still regret the passing of the ‘busyness’ of spring and summer. But what I appreciate most about the changing seasons is that they are a reminder for me of the cycle of life, and my own mortality. As I watch summer turn to autumn, knowing that winter will follow, and then spring, I find it comforting to be reminded that when the seasons of my life turn to autumn, and winter, and death, there will be spring for other lives. The sense of being connected to the heartbeat of life on earth, helps to give my life focus and meaning.

 

Modern, western culture often seems to value youth and energy more than old age, but not all cultures are the same. The Bible portrays a culture where the elderly were highly respected for their wisdom and experience, and were looked to to resolve conflicts and set a community’s priorities and direction. One of Jesus’ many clashes with the established religion of his day was because they encouraged believers that it was acceptable to neglect the needs of elderly parents, if the money was given for religious purposes instead. Jesus said that to neglect parents in this way was to serve tradition rather than God.

 

  • What do you enjoy or dislike about the changing seasons?

  • How might the characteristics of any particular season ‘speak’ to you about your life?

 

Prayer for the week - 25th September 2020

 

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