When Fall turns into Winter, my wife gets a big smile on her face. This is her favorite part of the year. It reminds her of the cycle of life. The leaves turn a beautiful color, then they die and fall off the trees. This happens when winter approaches. We then wait for spring to celebrate new life.
I want the Youth to think of this process as the seasons of our Christian Life. When we go through our Christian life we must shed the old. Then as we awake with new visions and thoughts those can not only change our lives but the lives of those with whom we come in contact each and every day.
We have a large tree in our front yard that is dying. Half of the tree does not produce any new leaves and the other half does. In about 3 years that entire tree will be dead, due to my neglect. I have failed to feed it the correct food and not allowed a tree specialist to come in and treat that tree.
This is the same way the cycle of our Christian life tends to be. If it is not fed properly and if it is not seen by a specialist (The Holy Spirit), it seems to die within us. We should pray for and want the entire tree to go through this renewal process successfully each year.
We can also allow the tree to represent our community. If part of that tree (our community) dies, over a certain amount of time, that entire tree/community will perish. Intervention is necessary. We must feed the word of Jesus to all of our brothers and sisters in the community we serve. We want the Cycle of our Christian life to reach everyone. We know that no matter how sick that tree or our community might be, with God in the roots or in the heart of those giving or receiving the word of our Lord, that tree and our community will flourish like never before.
You experience the changes of fall, the isolation and sadness of winter, the new beginnings of spring, and the joy and celebration of summer. We must be aware of the appropriate times to transition and move on with the light of the Lord. We must trust God in all times of transition, celebrating and thanking God when there is new Life.
by Earl Williams
Youth Director and Safe & Sacred Space Trainer
Grace United Methodist Church, Emporia, KS
Loving God, Loving Neighbor