Autumn, a new season
Although I am writing this on a warm (slightly muggy) September day, by the time you read it we shall be into October and a definite feel of autumn will be in the air. “The times they are a-changin’”, sang Bob Dylan. Or, if you prefer something more scriptural, the writer of Ecclesiastes says “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens” (Eccl 3:1) and then goes on to list opposite pairs for which there is a time for each.
Life has been very different for the last 18 months, with many changes from what we had known before. We have been glad to return to more familiar ways – gathering in church on a Sunday (and having coffee afterwards); enjoying a picnic in Ted & Penny’s garden(s); meeting friends at Community Café; and we have restarted prayer and bible study groups. But we cannot simply return to how we were. The times have changed and, sadly, some of the people who played an active part in our church life are no longer with us – we will be particularly remembering them in our Communion service on 4th October.
In Acts 2:42-46 we read about the changes in the lives of those who had come to believe in Jesus, either during his life or in the early months after his death and resurrection. They devoted themselves to learning all they could from the apostles; they broke bread together and prayed together. The held everything in common and cared for the needy. The impact of their faith was to bring a new season in to their lives.
Though different to their experience, we too are entering a new season for us a church. A song [© 1995 Geoff Bullock Music] says this:
I will never be the same again,
I can never return, I’ve closed the door.
I will walk the path, I’ll run the race
And I will never be the same again.
Fall like fire, soak like rain,
Flow like mighty waters, again and again.
Sweep away the darkness, burn away the chaff,
And let the flame burn to glorify Your name.
There are higher heights, there are deeper seas,
Whatever you need to do, Lord do in me.
The Glory of God fills my life,
And I will never be the same again
May we go forward in to the new season that God has prepared for us – in the strength and joy of the Love of God, and in fellowship with each other.