Heather de Gruyther writes for September
There is a season – turn, turn, turn
And a time to every purpose under heaven...
A time to plant, a time to reap…”
sang the Byrds in 1965.
Nature teaches us that the world turns, and seasons pass. This is not new information brought about through modern understandings of the universe – the words of the Byrds’ classic song are taken from the bible, from the book of Ecclesiastes written about 2500 years ago! Neither is this new information for farmers and gardeners who well understand the need to be in touch with the seasons to produce successful crops.
But for those of us, who shop mainly in supermarkets, we buy most foods all year round and seasons have
less impact on our life. But there is something about observing the passing of the seasons that is part of
being human and we need celebrations throughout the year like birthdays, Christmas, Anniversaries,
the start of the school year, New Year’s Eve and so on.
In church our calendar revolves around Christmas and Easter, but many people find it easier to notice the passing of time not by reading the Bible but by reading the ‘second book’ of nature, with its seasons and ‘sun calendar.’ Some people notice the solstices (longest and shortest days of summer and winter) and the equinoxes halfway between (where day and night are equal, and all creation seems to hold its breath).
We share the same calendar of seasons. It is no accident that the birth of Jesus Christ is celebrated at mid-winter, the darkest, coldest time of the year – the bible talks of Jesus as the ‘light shining in the darkness’, a timely reminder of the light Jesus brings to the world. And again, there is no accident that we celebrate Easter near the time of the Spring Equinox – we celebrate the dying of Jesus on Good Friday and his rising again on Easter Sunday, and the day in between, Holy Saturday where everything hung in the balance
and the universe held its breath.
Very soon it will be the Autumn Equinox and the world will turn away from summer towards winter.
It’s a good time to pause and reflect on where we’ve been and where we’re going, “a time to laugh,
a time to weep… a time to dance, a time to mourn…”
Could the turning of the seasons this year prompt you to see something bigger at work in your life?
Ordinand and Ministry Team Member of Hardwicke, Elmore and Longney Churches