- Church Lane East,
- GU11 3ST
This devotional thought appears on the front page of the October 2019 edition of Park Life magazine.
Its autumn! I love autumn, it’s my favourite season and this isn’t new information because I have written about it in Park Life before. One of the reasons I love this season is that it reminds me of the time I spent studying in New England, when you spend months surrounded by the most glorious tree colours it’s hard not to revel in the beauty of God’s world.
I love asking people which season is their favourite because it creates such wonderful diverse responses. These responses range from an expected “new life” “warm weather” to the personal memory which means so much. The most common joking response I get to claiming autumn as my favourite season is “but everything is dying”. It’s a joke but my brain always leaps to point out the trees aren’t dying they are getting ready for a spring relaunch. However, when we speak of seasons they come with a wider sense of meaning for example winter as a time of lack and emotional famine and spring as a time of life. Night and day are often used to capture a similar meaning. We talk about sorrows or despair in the dark or night-time and fresh hope in the light or morning. This imagery is used in the Bible. Much of Psalm 143 focuses on the plight of the author. Verse 3 is a good example “The enemy pursues me, he crushes me to the ground; he makes me dwell in the darkness like those long dead.”
Verse 8 brings a hope “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.”
This was my baptism verse I have spent a lot of time reflecting on the chapter. David experiences significant problems, calls out to God for rescue and anticipates with a confidence born from experience that God will answer him.
Our experience helps us know that spring will come after autumn and winter. We may not enjoy the process but we are sure it is coming. Day follows night and we are sure of that too. We have been reflecting on the grace of God and his challenge to us to live as examples of this grace. It would be amazing if we could live our lives full of confidence that we had access to this Grace, too often we know theoretically but easily forget in reality. So I want to pose a challenge, a simple idea, why don’t we use autumn as a reminder of grace. There are so many signs of autumn around us it can remind us daily to reflect. If like me you love autumn, that’s great we can reflect on the joy of God’s grace and living it. If autumn isn’t your favourite that’s ok too, reflect on the certainty that just as spring is surely coming so we can be sure of that grace. Either way it will keep us thinking and living with God’s grace.
Past Focus Items
September 2019 -Happy Anniversary!
July-August - Prayer
June 2019 - Look, Enjoy and Give Thanks
May 2019 - A Change of Ways
April 2019 - Community
February 2019 - I Wanna Be Like You
January 2019 - In God We Trust
December 2018 - The Supporting cast
November 2018 -Collaboration
October 2018 - Do We Trust Him?
September 2018 - Community Outreach
July/Aug 20118 -Mission Impossible
June 2018 - Barnabas
May 2018 - Living Bricks
April 2018 - Togetherness
March 2018 - The Beauty is in the Present Moment and in the Seeing
January 2018 - Moving On
December 2018 - Christmas Lights
November 2017 - Autumn
October 2017 - The Red Box
September 2017 The Way Ahead - Part 2
July/August 2017 - Summertime
June 2017 - Steering the Boat
April 2017 - Change Ahead
March 2017 - One Way - Jesus
January 2017 - Beyond the Fog
December 2016 - Be Still and Know that I Am God
November 2016 - Autumn
October 2016 - Questions
September 2016 - Olympic Values
July/August - Follow the Leader?
June 2016 - Passports and Priorities
April 2016 - The Power of Love
March 2016 - Giving Up For Lent
February 2016 - What's At The Core?
January 2016 - The New Year
November 2015 - Back to the Future
October 2015 - Autumn
September 2015 - Standing in Their Shoes
July/August 2015 - Summertime
June 2015 - Free Gifts
March 2015 - Another Brick in the Wall
February 2015 - Distance Management
January 2015 - Changing Perspectives