Autumn could be my favorite season, the leaves turning copper and gold, shimmering in the breeze, sunlight streaming through. A perfect time to reach out to the Creator. The climate in my neighborhood isn’t exactly biblical, but the biblical authors certainly understood what spiritual gifts the season brings.
1) May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy. (Psalm 126:5) Autumn is the time of harvest. Haven’t we all experienced anxiety and tears in these too-long months of a seemingly endless pandemic? Indulge in God’s promise. Reap God’s love with shouts of joy.
2) 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? (Matthew 6:26) The birds in migration seem to fill the skies these October and November days. Jesus’s words offer a reminder how each one of them offers a sermon. In flight.
3) The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God will stand forever (Isaiah 40:8). As my friend Tibby Sherrill likes to say, “The only prayer God can’t answer is, ‘Don’t let anything change.’” Autumn is a constant reminder of change, changes that are inherent in our lives. No reason we can’t use those changes to grow closer to God and the Love that never dies.
4) When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very edges of your field, or gather the gleanings of your harvest; you shall leave them for the poor and for the alien…” (Leviticus 23:22). I love this verse. A reminder of how the harvest was also a crucial time of giving. To remember the poor. Not hogging it all ourselves. Leaving enough for them.
5) The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it. (Psalm 24:1). Do you ever go on a prayer walk? No listening to podcasts or making phone calls. Just take yourself outside and experience what this verse says. You’ll see not only in the trees and the flowers but in the people you pass on the sidewalk or who drive by… They are—we are—the Lord’s.
6) Let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest-time, if we do not give up (Galatians 6:9). Thanksgiving is not far away. When families gather and give thanks for what God has given them. So do not weary in doing what is good. Life’s bounty is near.
7) They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season and their leaves do not wither…(Psalm 1:3). A crab apple tree lies just outside our kitchen window, the fruit bright red. No, we don’t eat it. But the sight of it is full of beauty that delights. Those who “delight in the Lord” are like those trees. Now and forever.