A Change of Seasons…

A change of seasons…things are born or created. They die or are otherwise done away with. We can control some of those changes, but most are out of our control. The rains that we’ve been blessed with over the past months that prevent or delay outdoor work. Oil prices that continue to drop despite people needing work and income.
Illnesses, injuries, job changes, new automobiles, new homes, graduations, weddings, births and deaths. Changing seasons… seasons in nature…economic seasons…the seasons in our human lives… seasons in the church and in our world. As our scripture reading says: “There is a time to weep. And there’s a time to laugh. There is a time to be sad. And there’s a time to dance.” We all encounter those “seasons”. None of us are immune to change. It happens whether we’re ready for it or not. Sometimes all we can do is react. How do you react in the seasonal changes of your life?

Many of you have a gardening or farming background. You understand the affect of seasons on plants. You’re familiar with the need for seasons… the need for a seed or bulb to appear to lie dormant buried in the cool or even
cold soil, when in reality, though invisible to our eyes – the seed is developing, growing, preparing to burst forth as a new plant as the season changes – as the earth warms and spring rains fall.

We’re impatient during winter months. Eager for Spring and Summer. Ready for new leaves and flowers, baby birds and butterflies. We don’t really like the darkness of winter. We begin to feel lazy, perhaps depressed or anxious about what may be around the corner in upcoming days or months. We begin to yearn for the new beginning of Spring. As August rolls around and 20 mph winds swirl 100 degree temperatures we begin to yearn for the change of Fall and Winter – cooler temperatures, shorter days, holidays spent with family and friends, a time to rest.

Through all of the changes in nature, changes in our economy, changes in the ELCA and at St. Paul’s… is there anything that’s a constant? Anything that is always the same?

In Matthew 28 we read the story of Jesus’ resurrection. It concludes with Jesus saying, “And you can be sure that I am always with you, to the very end.” We know Jesus to be One of the Three in One – the Triune God. So with that in mind we have the wonderful reassurance that He will be with us through all things, all changes of seasons, until the very end. Perhaps He will be with us in the form of the Holy Spirit – the small, quiet voice guiding us to know the difference between right and wrong the voice that empowers us. Or as our Father God whom we see so evident everywhere we look – the fruit of the trees, the power of wind and rain, protection from calamity, the birth of a child. Or as God’s Son — Jesus our Savior – our Guide, our Example. “And you can be sure that I am always with you, to the very end.”

How do you embrace the changing seasons of life?

I read a comment on the Facebook page of a member of our community. They wrote, and I quote, “Our community has changed in so many ways with all the oil industry we don’t even know half of our community who and who not to trust.” How sad is that? Not only fighting a Change of Seasons, but wrapping themselves in what seems to be bitterness because of an uncontrollable change. I ask you again How do you embrace the seasons of change? How have you embraced the transition from Pastor Collins leading our church to this interim period, and leading into the future call process? How have you embraced the changes in our community as the result of Eagle Ford development? How have you embraced the changes in in politics, in governmental regulations.

change-of-seasonsIn Matthew 6, Jesus instructs: “I tell you, do not worry. Don’t worry about your life and what you will eat or drink. And don’t worry about your body and what you will wear. Isn’t there more to life than eating? Aren’t there more important things for the body than clothes? Look at the birds of the air. They don’t plant or gather crops. They don’t put away crops in storerooms. But your Father who is in heaven feeds them. Aren’t you worth much more than they are? Can you add even one hour to your life by worrying?

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the wild flowers grow. They don’t work or make clothing. 29 But here is what I tell you. Not even Solomon in all his royal robes was dressed like one of these flowers. If that is how God dresses the wild grass, won’t he dress you even better? Your faith is so small! After all, the grass is here only today. Tomorrow it is thrown into the fire. So don’t worry. Don’t say, ‘What will we eat?’ Or, ‘What will we drink?’ Or, ‘What will we wear?’ People who are ungodly run after all those things. Your Father who is in heaven knows that you need them. But put God’s kingdom first. Do what he wants you to do. Then all those things will also be given to you. 34 So don’t worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

We are called to be changers of the world. How can we simplify the changes for others? How can we make transitions in the seasons of life more peaceful, positive times?

Change can be unsettling, but WHY? Why must we be alarmed by change? Why must we curse and rant or wring our hands in worry when the seasons of change occur? What are we afraid of? In Romans 8 we read, What should we say then? Since God is on our side, who can be against us? God did not spare his own Son. He gave him up for us all. Then won’t he also freely give us everything else?”