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 bursting from every tree and bush--incredible, breath-taking beauty.
I'm sure I am not the first to correlate God's seasons with His love story through Christ:
Fall speaks to us about His dying for us on the cross.
Winter represents His burial, enclosed in a death that we will never have to endure.
Spring shouts about His resurrection... a newness of life for all who believe.
And Summer proclaims the ongoing 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. So I too, will praise Him, and thank Him... for His glorious Fall.
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. James 4:7-8
Thank you for your instructional word! Please Lord, through your powerful Spirit, help us to submit to your authority, as well as resist the temptations or arrows of our enemy. As we do these things, thank you for the promises that the devil will flee and you will draw near. Amen.