As I type this, it is a week or so before there is a switch to Central European Time (night of 30 October). It is part of marking that it is Autumn ( well in the Northern Hemisphere of course!)
I wonder if we all have a favourite season? Perhaps it is Autumn. There are certainly aspects that I enjoy such as the richness of the colours of the leaves and the crispiness there can be in the air. Though here in the Netherlands there can also be some very cloudy, grey wet days too (not so much fun!)
Wherever we live in the world (even at the Equator), it could be said also that our lives can have different seasons.:
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.”
Ecclesiastes 3:1 New International Version
What kind of season do you see yourself in being in at present? Within it, what is there to be thankful for? Is there anything that is more challenging, that could be helpful to share with some trusted others? How might faith in Christ have something to ‘speak’ into your season of life right now?
Are we able to ’embrace the season’?
I don’t ask that lightly since I know that it may seem to not be possible nor desirable. I am not wishing to give the impression that I always find it easy to do. I don’t. In fact, there are things I am grappling with in my present ‘season’, which at times seem hard to ’embrace’.
This said, there are multiple aspects about God that help me to have a fresh perspective on life’s seasons. For instance,
“The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love”
Psalm 145:8 New International Version
Or how about this from one of the prophets to Israel:
“Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.”
Isaiah 30:18 New Revised Standard Version
I think such aspects about God were particularly shown through the life of Jesus Christ – as we can read in the Gospels. Yet I don’t think it was just true back then. God is still the same, now, in Autumn 2022! However our lives are. Maybe that seems ridiculous to us, maybe it is a great comfort. Whatever your response, what is triggering such thoughts and/or emotions?
One New Testament writer penned these words,
“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
Hebrews 4:16 New International Version
Amidst the complexities of life, I believe we can do as this verse encourages us to respond.
I do not mean to be simplistic. There are all kinds of challenges, like the war in Ukraine or climate change concerns. Perhaps we might ask, where is the justice and compassion that is acredited to God? I want to acknowledge that might be a struggle for some of us reading these paragraphs. There are times where I also cry out such things in prayer too. I think that is part of being real in our prayers rather than just playing some kind of religious game. Being real with God about what we see in the wider world as well as in our own lives. God’s grace means we can come confidently however our ‘season’ is and whatever questions we may have.
There is more I could write but I will end by asking:
Embrace the season? If we are going to do so in a healthy and real way, what might that look like?
PS As we approach the beginning of Advent (starts 27th November), there will be various topics as we gather for ICL services. You are welcome in person or online. Some more details for each week can be found on the church calendar