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Pastor's Column

A New Season

  As another month rolls around with September, so we’re reminded of the changing of times and seasons.  Another summer is drawing to a close.  Another year of school with all the accompanying activities.  Another informal beginning to a “new year” with new and different goings-on in clubs and churches.  A new and fresh start!
  It reminds me again of the classic quote from Ecclesiastes 3, For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up …, etc.  In our area we’re often vividly reminded of the “plant/pluck up” imagery as crops are harvested and people enjoy the good fruits of the earth from their gardens.  Truly, our lives are filled with contrasts and seasons and pairings reminding us of the cycles of life.  Time stops for no one.
  So, what does this time mean for you?  More than just another TV season, I hope.  Time again to reflect, and recalibrate, and reassess.  “How’m I doin’?” a former mayor of New York was known to query his constituents, but it’s not a bad time to ask that question of ourselves again as the three-quarter point of the year rolls around.  What about my resolve to exercise more, to read the Bible more regularly, to carry out or complete some job or task I’ve long put off?  “There’s no time like the present,” the saying goes.
  I think of a recent Scripture lesson this past month from Ephesians 5, “… try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord.  … Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. … Understand what the will of the Lord is.”
  Unfortunately verses like these don’t often lift me up and motivate me because they make me mindful of my many faults and failures.  Not uncommonly when I reflect and reassess, my own judgment and values sneer at and taunt me because I haven’t done what I wanted to.  I’m behind where I want to be.
  Thank God for His forgiveness in my Lord, and the renewal of God’s Spirit!  Forgiveness isn’t just God toward me, but also me forgiving myself in God’s power.  And renewal means I don’t wade and wallow in my failures, but, truly forgiven by God in Christ and forgiving myself, I move on to a better and more productive and healthier tomorrow in God’s Spirit.  My past won’t defeat me.  A new and hopeful and better season begins …today!  Savor and enjoy it!





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