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Changing Seasons

1 month ago

Canon Dr. Alison Fleetwood shares her reflections on the seasons and what the Holy Spirit may be saying to us through them. Alison walks us through autumn and winter whilst encouraging us to sew seeds and invest in the coming spring.

As we go into autumn, I find myself reflecting on the seasons.  It’s getting colder and darker earlier, and this autumn we also have concerns around the increase of covid-19 and all that brings to our lives. The Holy Spirit has been nudging and speaking to me about the seasons we go through in our lives, alongside the calendar year. As we read in Ecclesiastes 3:1 "There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens".

In autumn we see the leaves fallen on the ground: fallen from the trees where they had spring and summer life, yet still beautiful in their orange, red and brown colours. Still rich and varied, with the light which is lower in the sky, bringing a new beauty. And yet on other days , it is cold, wet and damp. As you reflect on life, is there anything that the Holy Spirit is nudging you to let go of? It may have been good in its season, but now it may be time to let go.

Winter is a season when the trees are bare and the flowers have gone - a time when it is dark and cold. Some days have a beauty of their own, in a barren kind of way. These are days when the sun shines but is short-lived with darkness falling by late afternoon. This is a time to hunker down, to hide inside and to try to keep warm. It can feel long.  Moreover, this year brings additional hunkering down with ever increasing talk of covid restrictions. So, what feels like winter in your life at the moment, or in your church's life? It's good to remember we are not alone, that God is with us: "Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. " (Psalm 23:4)

As we look forward to going into spring next year, we think of the new green leaves on the trees, little green shoots peeping through the ground, the emergence of beautiful flowers and colours. I love walking through the woods when the bluebells carpet the way, walking along country lanes with beautiful spring flowers in the hedgerow. Many of these spring flowers, especially those in our gardens, have been planted in the autumn and winter months. Hidden underground through the dark cold months of winter, they now peep through and come to life. What is the Holy Spirit saying to you about the spring to come? Are there any shoots emerging, any new possibilities? Is there any planting which God is calling you to in the autumn and winter months to invest for the spring to come?

Summer seems a long way away at the moment. Summer is a season of sunshine, vibrant colours, green hills, sandy beaches and joy.  Whilst we may not be in summer now, what things can we give thanks for? What goodness and joy has God blessed you with? Let us be thankful for these things and hold onto them through the winter season.

 

“Life is unpredictable,
It changes with the seasons,
Even your coldest winter
Happens for the best of reasons,
And though it feels eternal,
Like all you'll ever do is freeze, 
I promise spring is coming,
And with it, brand new leaves”
― Erin Hanson

 
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