In just a few weeks there is going to be a dramatic change of colour on the landscape. At the moment all the trees are in full growth and the leaves are green. Before we can see only bare branches there will be a spectrum of colour, and where better to notice this than in the wide open spaces in park and countryside. It is surely one of the marvels of nature as we see before our eyes so many shades of colour before the leaves finally fall to the ground.
Change is all around us and we can’t escape it even if we want to. Indeed Nahum Tate started his now somewhat dated hymn with the line, ‘Through all the changing scenes of life’. There is very little that stands still and is constant in daily life. In the URC at the moment we are involved in discussions that will, if adopted at Synod in October, bring about major change in the way we do things and challenge us far more than in past years. Out with the old and in with the new!
Faith doesn’t change, though, does it? Although having said that we can be pulled this way and that, and sometimes find faith tested. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. The context in how we worship him and how we organise church mission life is what is under discussion at the moment.
For a leaf to change colour and eventually to float to the ground it has in the spring first to have burst forth from the branch. The problem today is that there are not that many new leaves and the tree is full of those who are about to fall! Sorry to be blunt, but that’s the nature of it.
But even when golden, red or brown, each leaf is a thing of beauty, and that’s us. We may in the main be oldies now but we are still on the tree. Hang on in there and continue to be a beautiful leaf until those autumn gales make it too difficult to stay put any longer. Remember the leaf mould often feeds new saplings and hopefully when our earthly days are done, the influence we leave behind us is what will bring forth new growth.
In the meantime, enjoy the autumn and give thanks to God for the changing seasons and all they represent.