|By Andy Bratton, Senior Minister|
Ah, the changing colors of fall. Such beautiful colors, especially when the sun is shining on the leaves after a small rain so the colors glisten. There are tunnels of trees you can drive through and be surrounded by the colors. There is a chairlift ride you can take for $5 to see the leaves. I am looking outside my window at the church and can see all kinds of colors as I type this. And while yes they are beautiful, it only reminds me that I need to put the bagger on my mower and start picking up the endless bags full of the “pretty” things.
Last year the snow came before I could pick them all up and I had to wrestle with them in the spring, spreading out my joyous fall activity. I used to have to wait for my generous neighbor to come over and pick them up with his fancy machinery. However, last year, about this time, I found a John Deer tractor on Craigslist for half the price of a brand new one and it was only a year old. It has made mowing and leaf picking up much betterer.
The changing colors are a reminder of God’s magnificent design and creativity. They could just turn brown, die, and fall off the trees. Instead, he colors them nicely for us, allows them to stick to the trees for a time that we can enjoy them, and then has them fall to the ground. It makes me ask the question, “what else in our world changes and reminds us of how creative and artistic God is?”
And the best answer I can come up with is mankind. Each of us that has received Jesus as Lord has a story. A story of who we were before Christ, how He transformed us, and who we are now. And we have some beautiful stories in our church and there are some beautiful stories waiting to be written in the lives of our community. Multiple times in the Bible we are told that God does NOT change, but we do. In Ezekiel 36:26 it says, “And I will give you a ew heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”
When we are baptized, Paul tells us in Romans, we are raised to walk in a new life. As you rake your old, dead leaves this fall and dispose of them and await a new batch in the spring, may it serve as a reminder of the old you that has gone away forever, and the new life you have in Christ Jesus. And it you need more of a reminder than your yard will give you, you are welcome to come over to my house and rake up all of the reminders you life. Love you guys!