Are We Ready?

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James 5:7-8 Therefore, brothers, be patient until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth and is patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. You also must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, because the Lord’s coming is near.  

Everybody’s saying it! You must have heard one of these comments a hundred times in the past month! Comments like: “WOW…can you believe that we went from summer to fall overnight?”  or “This is my favorite time of the year…there is just something in the air!” or “It’s looking like a hard winter this year!” There is sort of a nostalgia, a sense of blessing and even potential in the air. Maybe it’s because we have been patiently waiting, like the farmers…for the tomatoes to ripen, the corn on the cob, the sweetest apples, pears, etc. And Jesus tells us…the best is yet to come.

Fall brings some favorite Minnesota childhood memories. Bonfires, hot cocoa, walking down the country road in the moonlight to go to confirmation at the little church in the wildwood.  Potlucks, fudge and monopoly games. With all of that, there is a unique spirituality that fills the days of autumn, an anticipation that calls us. The turn of the season brings cool evenings and a vibrancy of color. Fire bright golds, reds and oranges paint the leaves and fill our senses. Bright orange pumpkins and red apples bring a feast to the eyes. Corn stalks and scarecrows begin to show up on porches. And then there is the hunter’s moon.

Enjoying a full moon on a fall night is somehow different than in any other season. The air feels more satisfying and we are holding onto the last bit of comfort before winter. This year it will happen the night of October 15, with the absolute best visibility of it happening at 12:23 AM on the 16th. The “Hunter’s moon” will have an orange tinge and be super bright this year. It got its name because hunters use the bright light of this October full moon to go out and look for prey. You can take pictures of a stunning full moon but they won’t look anything like really being there…filled with the amazing, realization that our God called this enormous beautiful golden-orange globe into being with just a word! And He gives us all these gorgeous, colorful creations as His gift. Just because!   

So what is it that brings us this anticipation as autumn fills the air? Pumpkins, apple cider, costumed people, caramel apples, Octoberfests? I don’t think that is what calls us. Jesus tells us that His coming is near. Do you suppose that’s where this anticipation is coming from? Do you suppose at this time of the year, when harvests are ripe and preparations are made for those days when the gardens will be covered with snow, we are to remember the harvest that Jesus talks about…the one where the laborers are few? The crops are ready…are we? 

Pastor Gail