(Posted August 28, 2015)
Try as we might to look the other way, all the signs are there. Signs that summer is heading out, and autumn is creeping in -- into the garden of our lives.
Where not too long ago after a terribly harsh winter we heard the Spring peepers, now the night air is filled with the sounds of katydids. Perhaps you never knew that their song- “Katie DID!” – is nature’s audible thermometer. It indicates the nighttime temperature. The phrase is repeated like that as long as the temperature is above 65. But when it drops a little, the little bugs only sing “Katie!” And once the temperature reaches 60 or below, the woeful little song is a mere “Kate. Kate.” The song disappears altogether when frost seizes the night.
There are other indicators that fall is coming. Stubborn tomatoes that have refused to ripen finally develop a promising blush, while other garden inhabitants like squash and mint and basil, have faded and gone leggy. Either way, try as we might, Change is coming.
If there is anything that is written into the Divine plan, it’s change.
Beyond that very first day of a child’s very first year in school, children adapt really well to change. Perhaps it’s because their young, unjaded eyes can see the opportunities that lie in the change of circumstances better than we adults who are battered and bruised by experience. When WE are confronted by change, often we tend to worry – worry about what lies ahead, or if misfortunes that have happened in the past will occur again. Human beings do not necessarily do well during the “in-between” times in our lives. But in the gospel reading we’ve chosen for this special Sunday Vesper Service at Al and Linda Jennings’ home, Jesus himself tells us not to fear. Not to worry:
"Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”
That, indeed, is what God asks of us – to look around at the natural world around us whether it is green with the summer or changing to the raiment of fall – and appreciate the gift. Trust. Have faith that, in ways that we may not understand them at this moment, we will come out on the other side of uncertainty. No wonder that, among the many names for God, one of them is “Providence.” God gives us what we need to live, feeds us to rise another day. In terms of a transition from summer to autumn, that’s all we need to know. I’m so glad to be back and looking forward to seeing you at our special cookout and evening service. – Pastor Pat Kriss