On Faith: As fall turns, Christ doesn’tHave you noticed the same things I’m noticing? Things like ... Wild geese flying overhead in formation, honking loudly?
By: Susan Berge, Lake County News Chronicle
Have you noticed the same things I’m noticing? Things like ...
Wild geese flying overhead in formation, honking loudly?
Yellow tansies mostly gone brown, while purple asters continue to bloom?
Leaves of brilliant color, either overhead or underfoot?
Bags of apples mysteriously showing up on your doorstep, left by friends with trees?
Waking up to dark mornings and noticing that it’s already dark in early evening?
Yes, autumn is definitely here.
I greet fall with mixed feelings. I love autumn. Who doesn’t? The rich colors, the crisp weather, the crunching leaves are all part of a beautiful season.
But, summer is nice too, and this year, we certainly experienced a “real” summer, even along the North Shore.
There’s something bittersweet about this changing of the seasons, the passing of another summer into fall. It can be a little sad to give up watermelons and blueberries for apples and pumpkins.
Parents face the reality of children who have grown another year older. All of us have done precisely that too, of course, but time’s progression is most obvious when your child moves into the next grade or moves away to go to college or to work. I find that there’s a melancholy streak in me that is brought out by the changes of this season.
Time is passing ... things are changing ... nothing stays the same.
Times of change, of transition, are often a combination of delight and sadness, excitement and regret. Change comes in different forms: the graduation of a teenager; the loss of mobility for an elderly parent or spouse; a divorce; a birth; a marriage; a move; a change in employment.
The hitch with change, is that while it sometimes is a change for the better, there is often an underside of loss involved in even positive changes. And obviously, not all changes are positive. The older we grow, the more changes we are likely to experience in terms of our health, and many of those changes are not very good.
We also lose those we love, and the longer we live, the more losses we’ve had to bear. Losing a job at any age may open us up to new possibilities, but it’s still a blow and a loss of income and self-esteem. Even the changes in the world around us can be demoralizing.
Into these times of transition and change, of sorrow or fear, come these words from Hebrews 13:8: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Those simple words are a source of comfort and hope for those who feel tossed about by change or overwhelmed by transitions. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”
When so much else changes, decays, or moves on, Christ is the same. He is the ground that does not shift beneath our feet. In a world of constant change, there is one constant which doesn’t change – Christ, the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. This good news means that our past, our present, and even our future, are all held within God’s hands. This is the same God who creates the changes of season in nature and walks with us through the changes of our own lives. Even if the underlying melancholy of autumn sometimes awakens unease within us, we can still appreciate the bright and crisp beauty of the season, knowing that God is with us always, in all seasons of our lives.
Susan Berge is the pastor at Knife River Lutheran Church. She loves to hike in the autumn with her husband, Pastor Phil Berge, and their two dogs.