It wasn’t long ago, just last month in fact. I was standing at my kitchen sink, a friend on a stool nearby. She was looking round the room when she said smiling, “I’m noticing a theme here – so many reminders of the four seasons in your home.” I grinned yes. Indeed there are.
Wool-felted scenes of a tree through the seasons. A set of four hand-painted plates my mother-in-law brought back from Germany, each depicting village life throughout the four seasons. I’ve surrounded myself with reminders.
You see, I’m a firm believer that God wrote a quiet message in creation itself, that His hand traced it in the ways of the earth.
Have you ever wondered at the birth of spring and how it leads to the growth of summer? Or what about the dying back of autumn, how it lies covered in the sleep of winter? There’s a mystery at work, an ongoing cycle. Just when you think things are coming to a close, they begin again. The seasons tell the story of faith.
This story, it’s the only one told that begins at The End. For a Christian there’s really no such thing as the end, is there? We punctuate our prayers with the hope of the ages of ages and profess the life of an age to come. That’s because we know what seems to be the end is actually a new beginning.
For a Christian the end is to begin again, to be born once more. It’s a mystery, this faith. Death leads to life and the seasons point to it. From the beginning of time, creation has marked the way. Pay attention to the seasons and you’ll find a roadmap to the place where The End will always be a new birth – the Church.
And so here we find ourselves, turning the calendar page to the last day of the church year. When the sun sets on that last day it will become once again the first. Only weeks ago we beheld Christ radiant on Tabor. Now we return to the humble beginning. It’s fitting. No one rises without descent and no Christian meets Christ without beginning again.
We now have a chance to begin once more. We know where we’re headed, this year of grace. We’ve walked it before and it’s no matter how well we’ve travelled in the past. It’s always new – Christ Himself.
It’s time for a new beginning. Again and again let us pray to the Lord.