High school football, chicken stews, Thanksgiving dinners, and cooler weather make Fall my favorite season. The changing of the leaves is the part I look forward to the most. It’s always so exciting to watch the dark greens transfigure from common to extraordinary. Bland, grass-colored mountains burst into fiery orange landscapes splattered with mixtures of sunrise yellow and candy-apple red.
As much as I love to see autumn come, I hate to see it go. As the leaves fall so does my spirit, because as the winter moves in, the color moves out. For the next few months everything becomes bleak and bare. It’s a strange thing to realize that it’s really death that makes Fall so beautiful.
Solomon said there is a season for everything–a time to be born and a time to die. In other words, death is a part of life. In fact, without death there is no life. You see, death is not an end; it’s only a door to a new beginning. As surely as the leaves fade and fall to the ground when spring comes around the dogwoods will bud again. The burning colors of autumn are the precursors to the bright colors of spring.
There are so many clear parallels between our current season and our Christian hope. As surely as we lay down to rest we will rise to live again.
Every fall I plant a fresh crop of tulips. Over four hundred bulbs are spread throughout various parts of my yard. Every time I cover those brown bulbs with dirt I think to myself, I’ll see you in spring. Sometimes the winter is long, but it never lasts forever. Like clockwork every year sometime towards the end of February, if you take a walk through my garden and you will find numerous pea-sized nobs barely pocking their heads through the soils surface. In only a few short weeks those nobs turn to full grown trumpets of God’s glory.
To those who are hurting and grieving, may I say, winter won’t last forever. God promised as long as man lives on earth the seasons will continue in their given order. Better days are coming, and the flowers will bloom again. During the holiday season I encourage you to take heart and rejoice in our hope that as surely as we have planted the shells of those we love beneath the soil, they will rise again more beautiful than before. As Christians we don’t look forward to dying, but we have no reason to fear death. We rejoice in the fact that though we are buried as a bulb we will rise as flowers. Be encouraged, fall is here and winter is upon us but spring’s not far away.
-Pastor Benjamin Webb