Dead leaves and second chances

Over the last few weeks, the United States has experienced brutal winter conditions. Weather—and climate—works in cycles over long periods of time. On a shorter scale, the weather patterns follow the seasons of the year. It’s been winter here—a long winter—so it has been cold. That’s how it works.

As I pay attention to the complaints of friends, I’ve noticed how people always prefer the season they are not in at the moment. As many of us were limited by ice in recent days, more than once I heard the refrain “come on summer.”

Remember that thought in the middle of August—the dog days of summer.

I’ve always preferred the Fall, or Autumn, each year. I like all of the seasons, but Fall brings back great memories of college, football and friends. To me, the air smells better in the Autumn months. Maybe it’s the scent of burning leaves or the crisp chill in the air in the mornings.

I was born in the Fall. Maybe that’s another reason why I like it. Being born is a good thing.

The Fall is filled with colors—beautiful colors of life. The trees turn from green to a mix of gold, brown, red, and yellow. Then, the leaves fall away to the ground. With the beauty of the season comes death—at least for the leaves. God has an amazing sense of humor and purpose. The colors of life signify death.

The trees stand cold and naked through the winter, surrounded by the protective bark. I’ve heard the bark compared to church—outwardly dead in appearance but protecting the life within. Wouldn’t it be nice if the church didn’t remind you of dead wood?

In the Spring, new leaves arrive. New flowers too. Birds lay eggs and animals emerge from hibernation and crops are planted to await the summer harvest. Then, Fall comes again bringing death—and beauty.

Without the death there can be no new life. It’s a bit like the empty tomb we are preparing to celebrate. Now, during Lent, we are in the winter of our souls but without the tomb there would be no new life.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.  2 Corinthians 5:17

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