I love the changing of the seasons, especially the move from Summer to Fall and then from Fall to Winter.
We moved this Summer into the suburbs and we like it a lot. The neighborhood is a staple in the community, with classic homes that remind you of the all-american childhood. We’re privileged to provide that for our girls at such a young age.
When we moved into our new home one of the first things I began to do was become familiar with the surroundings. There’s beautiful yards and trees all around us; a very cozy feel. But as Fall approached and the colors of the leaves changed, I knew that things would begin to change. The scenery would become unfamiliar again with the falling of the leaves, leaving a scene that was much more bare. Sure enough, as I write these very words, I’m discovering all kinds of new things about my home and its surroundings.
The naked trees reveal a play set just behind our house, in the yard of what I now know are grandparents. They’re very involved in their children’s lives, keeping them frequently. I hear the sounds of children playing much more clearly and realize there is a family across the street behind us. They have the most beautiful Christmas lights set up all over the front of their home. Yes, I’m jealous. There’s a Golden Retriever that lives across the cul-de-sac, quiet as can be and I never knew he was there till now.
There is something about the barrenness of Fall and Winter that reveals the underside of things. It’s a natural vulnerability. Our seasons are a time of change, of making nature bare and exposed. I think the same thing about the seasons of our Churches, especially Advent and Christmas, which are upon us now.
Advent is the Christian season of preparation, as we prepare our hearts and souls for the coming of the Christ Child. Christmas is the season of revelation, where we celebrate “God with us” in the flesh—in Jesus Christ— and we worship Him as King. We have seasons in the Church to signify both the growth of our faith and the changes that take place in our faith. Our seasons facilitate that growth through our careful attention to our spiritual lives and what God can and will do through our faithfulness to Him.
This Advent and Christmas, I challenge you to let the “leaves fall.” Let the vulnerable, bare, seemingly weak child–in–a–manger change you, from the inside out. Realize that this season is FOR you. It’s for you to shed all the things that ultimately don’t matter so that you can connect, free of cares, to the God who calls you to the side of the Precious Holy Child.