I grew up in the deep southern woods of Mississippi--lots and lots of pine trees towered over our home. So when I moved "way up here" in Tennessee, the colorful fall season took me by surprise. Year after year, I am mesmerized by the radiant reds, the fiery oranges, and the brilliant golds that are bursting from the trees and bushes--incredible, breath-taking beauty.
I'm sure I am not the first to correlate God's seasons with His love story:
Fall represents His dying for us on the cross.
Winter represents His burial, enclosed in a death that we will never have to endure.
Spring represents His resurrection... a newness of life for all who believe.
And Summer represents the growth and abundance of this new life.
So, here we are again in the seasonal cycle; the glorious fall surrounds us. It's hard to believe these brilliant leaves on the trees are actually dying. But isn't that exactly what happened at the cross? Listen to Jesus' words to His Father, just before He was taken into custody:
"Father, it's time. Display the bright splendor of Your Son so the Son in turn may show Your bright splendor." (msg, John 17:1)
Two thousand years ago, the King of Glory hung on a tree, dying. His fiery passion for the world He loved held Him there, not the nails. His perfect crimson blood was willingly shed for you and me. And as our Savior's life was drained from Him, it was the most tragically beautiful gift to behold. Before the darkness of "winter" encroached, the Light of the World triumphantly cried out, "It is finished." Indeed, it was awe-full.
Today, this day, when I see the radiance all around me and watch these colorful trees of the field clapping their hands, I know why they're applauding. I want to join them in honor of the King that gave His life a ransom for many. And I too, just as the trees are teaching us in this season, want to die to myself so Christ can live radiantly inside and outside of me, drawing many to His marvelous light.
Yes, as I look all around me, I will praise Him, and thank Him, and worship Him... for His glorious Fall.
And Moses thought, "I will go over and see this strange sight--why the bush does not burn up." Exodus 3:3
Turn our heads to see your holiness. Pull our hearts towards your glory. Make us curious enough to walk towards you and willing enough to respond to all that you have in mind. Call us, challenge us, change us. Amen.