As I write this, it’s a gorgeous sunny fall day with not a cloud in the sky; and now that the sun is lower in the sky it is backlighting and illuminating all the gold, orange and red leaves in a glorious way. Even my still green basil (which is miraculously still holding its own) is part of a happy leaf party. (That is of course until it becomes my last batch of presto this weekend).
I always hate to pull up the last of the summer plants in my window boxes and planters but it’s better than seeing the vestiges of the plants when a frost hits hard and fast. Soon, we will also start to notice the increasing loss of daylight, accelerated by the turning back of the clocks. I know I am not alone in dreading this annual event, but I am never ready for it. I find myself pleading with the Sun to hang out a little longer and give ‘just a few more weeks’ of Fall Light and glory.
Then again, Halloween would be a drag if experienced in the summer twilight as would Christmas eve as our brothers and sisters in the Southern Hemisphere experience. All in all, Ecclesiastes 3 reminds me again what a blessing the rhythm of the seasons can be, even if we enter these changes with hesitation.
Obviously, there are many gifts that darkness brings including enjoying fires in fireplaces and fire pits; the beauty and comfort of candlelight in the midst of darkness and of course fully seeing stars and the moon let alone Christmas lights on trees, houses and yard inflatables.
Themes of light and darkness are woven throughout both the Old and New Testament, and we will revisit these again when Advent returns on the Sunday after Thanksgiving (just 30 odd day away!).
Last weekend we had a very fruitful church-wide retreat. The content was based on looking at the differences and similarities between Optimism and Hope. We looked at Jeremiah 29 which embraces both of these concepts. We had lots of great fellowship, community and laughter. One of the exercises we did in groups was focused on things we want to START doing to re-energize and bring brightness back to our faith community and in the wider community. Among the 7 groups there were so many repeated and/or overlapping themes. Such as: Being more friendly, open, loving, patient, building relationships within and beyond the church, being open to new possibilities, contacting people who have not yet returned, inviting more people to reconnect/be involved.
This is not a complete list but they’re all great sources of hope as we seek to renew and re-invent the church out of a difficult and dark place because of Covid.
As we learn to readjust our life and church rhythms post-covid and seek to bring light in the midst of the growing physical darkness, the opportunities are endless. Now all we need is YOU to be a part of bringing light, hope and optimism as part of our mission and ministry to all who crave it.
Seeking Light and HOPE with you