Well this is hands down my favorite time of year. The beauty of fall, the crisp air, the vibrant colors and the feeling of the seasons making their great transition into the winter months always puts a little spring in my step. (It doesn’t hurt that a certain ‘yours truly’ was born in this great month!). I hope you’re finding the fall to be joyous and refreshing. And even if it is a little crazy (why does it feel like everything is happening THIS month?) we can trust that God’s handiwork is in the small stuff too.
For me, fall brings up all kinds of memories and stories of childhood, new school years, birthdays, asthma attacks after playing in the leaves, and things like that. Fall is a time of change and transition. While seasonally fall is kind of a winding down with (at least our side of) the earth turning towards hibernation, I have always enjoyed the fresh starts and change that comes with a new beginnings. I feel this time of year is a kind of winding up. It can be an inspiring and creative time. It can also be anticipatory as we edge closer to the advent season.
And so you can see that with fall comes all kinds of stories for me. I wonder how it is for you? What memories and stories are conjured up for you during this time? Has there been moments of God’s grace shown particularly clear for you? How about absence and change? What are those feelings for you that come with the shifting of the seasons?
I invite you to reflect this week on places in which change has occurred in your life: whether new beginnings, transitions, or loss. Maybe you are in one of these moments right now? What does the season of fall represent in your story?
Queries might be: What happened in that change, what led up to it, what was the result, what was it like to go through it? How did you respond, is it something you still hang onto, if not what helped you to move on from that? Where was God in all of it, did you feel the presence or absence of God during that change?
The book of Jeremiah is a book about transition. A deeply painful transition that comes at a great loss for an entire community. New seasons are not always pleasant or welcome. But the people are also offered the hope of a new land (Jer. 32) and the hope of a new covenant (Jer 31). What insights might be gained from reading this book during the season of fall, and in the context of thinking about cycles of change?
This coming Sunday Helen May and Cassy Goecks are going to be sharing their stories with us. I don’t know what they are going to talk about (they seem to favor the element of surprise) but my guess is their stories, like all of ours, have (at least) some of these components to them. I look forward to hearing from both Helen and Cassie and listening to God within them. Let’s reflect on own stories during this season with them.
I hope you can be here on Sunday to join in the conversation.
PS: A note of business
Is anyone interested in ordering the Fruit of the Vine devotional series from Barclay Press? I am going to order one set and can get more with a bulk discount if we order five sets the cost is $17 each. Here’s a link to the website: http://goo.gl/Yn7D