As we gradually put things away from our 60th Anniversary Celebration, we are reminded on a number of levels how all things come to an end, seasons change, and new focuses emerge. The vibrant green leaves that filled our summer changed to beautiful fall colors and are now giving way to the rustling dead leaves of fall (which many of you will be raking this Sunday. Thanks in advance!) Soon the bare trees of winter will be all that greet us. But I will not soon forget the beauty of those fall leaves and I will even appreciate the bareness of the trees as they reveal new views as well as bright blue skies and snow crystals on branches and on the ground.
Our lives move through seasons just as our life as a congregation moves through seasons. Some are long and joyful. Some are short and hurtful. Others are there to prepare us for what is yet to come. Some seasons stagnate, some grow, and some rest. But all are part of life in the body, both as individuals and as a congregation.
Martin Luther noted that part of the human condition is that we are always wanting to be something we are not. The young want to be older. The old want to be younger. The single woman wants to be married. The married sometimes wishes she were single. I have noticed this desire in interesting ways while listening to older members who have who have moved out of their homes and into smaller living arrangements (condos, apartments, retirement communities). Those who seem to be happiest are those who view the changes as part of an adventure of discovery, learning, and growth and what they can now embrace in this new arrangement. Those who tend to be unhappy seem fixated on a past that is not returning and on the things they can no longer do.
One of the keys to contentment at any stage of life is appreciating each season in and of itself, to find an appreciation for where we are and what we are called to do. God has structured the orbit and rotation of the earth that each year reminds us of the great promise Christ has given and that when this life appears to be over, new life awaits. I pray that we find contentment in each season of life as we trust in the God who has brought us there. I am very much looking forward to the seasons to come in our life together.
Grace and Peace,