September 2022 – A Letter from Pastor Lori

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; …” Ecclesiastes 3:1-2

 

September is a time of change. The month begins with the warm summer like days, with the sun still having enough strength to make the temperatures still climb into the high seventies and low eighties. The nights begin to be a little cooler as the days slowly begin to be shorter. In the beginning of September, the fields of corn and beans are still a bright vibrant green with the leaves waving in the breeze. The wind still whispers through the bright green leaves on the trees, making the branches sway to the wind. But as September goes on, the nights begin to have a crisp coolness, that brings out the fall jackets. At the end of September the leaves on the trees begin to change, exhibiting colors of bright red, orange and yellow. The beans begin to lose their leaves and the lush green fields begin to be filled with brown stems holding the pods of beans. The corn begins to dry and the green begins to fade from its leaves and stalks.

 

September also brings changes to our daily lives. The free unscheduled days of summer are over for our kids in the community as now the school buses are picking up students in the morning and the school bells ring to begin a new day of learning. No more sleeping late in the mornings. The baseball and golf season gives way to the football season. Soon parents and grandparents will be sitting on bleachers in the cool fall nights cheering on the home football team. Cold lemonade gives way to hot chocolate. The college students have returned to college, sharing stories about summer jobs and fun had during the summer. Back-packs are filled with books as they too return to classes. September also brings change to our attire. Short sleeve shirts, shorts and sandals give way to jeans, long sleeve shirts and a light jacket.

 

Yes, September is a month about changes. The thing we don’t like about change, I think, is it makes us uncomfortable. As Christians, we do not like change.  Even changing a lightbulb can cause slight anxiety.  With tradition, we know what to expect. We are pretty sure what is expected of us and how we think the day is going to go. Change brings the unexpected, unfamiliarity. When things are unfamiliar, and we don’t know what is expected of us and we are not sure of the outcomes of the change, we become stressed.

 

For most of us, “familiar”, fits our comfort zones. Yet, there are those among us, who love September, because they thrive on change. The same old, same old routine becomes boring. They love the thrill of change. They enjoy discovering what the unknown might bring and the change and unknown brings joy instead of stress. September is a witness to the truth declared by the Preacher of Ecclesiastes. Change is constant. “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under the heaven; a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted.” We live in a time when change is not only constant but seems to come quickly.

 

New technology keeps the change we experience at a rapid rate. I remember ten years ago people were unsure of using cell phones. Now we can hardly imagine going without them. Our cell phones have changed from being a phone, to being a small computer with a phone function. We can use our phones to shop on the internet, google all kinds of information, use as navigation tool to guide us to new addresses. Our cell phones can remote start our cars, turn down or up the temperatures in our homes, keep track of our spending, count our steps and record our heart beats. Plus, our phones can take amazing pictures, videos, even making movies. We also have smart watches, smart coffee makers, smart furnaces and air conditioners, smart cars with all kinds of safety features. With all the “smart” technology surrounding us, I am feeling not so smart. Most of the time the new technology changes help make life easier. At the same time all the new technologies contribute to our old habit of trying to get more and more things done in our day. If it only takes forty-five minutes to mow the lawn instead of an hour and a half, we add three more activities to our day. We don’t save time, we fill it. The more we fill our lives with more activities, the more we can become overwhelmed. We can be lost in all the change.

 

When that is the case, we can rest in the One that does not change. As the letter of Hebrews declares, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today and forever”. Jesus is always present. Jesus is always seeking you out. Jesus’ love for you never wavers. Jesus declares to you, that the Father has given you into his hands and no one, no authority can ever take you out of his hands. Jesus revealed God’s grace and love that is constant never changing for you. When you turn to seek forgiveness, Jesus is ready to forgive. Jesus is still the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the ending. Jesus is always Lord, victor over sin and death. So when we feel lost in this ever fast-paced changing world, we can rest in the unchanging love and constant presence of Jesus. Even as the seasons change, even with change as a constant force in our lives, Jesus’ love for you is greater. Jesus’ love for you is a sure foundation, that never changes. Find shelter and rest in Jesus’ unchanging love for you.

 

In Christ’s Service

 

Pastor Lori