These beautiful trees are in Barnet Marine Park. You can see the first signs of fall appearing particularly in the leaves of the tree in the middle. I love the colours of fall, particularly when the late afternoon sun catches the leaves as the sun sets. I also love the cool crisp air. But, sometimes, I also feel a sense of apprehension. The bright warm sunny days, which have become so familiar, will soon be replaced with colder and darker days. Hours of sunlight will be much shorter. Yet it is a necessary process as nature prepares itself for winter, a necessary death, which will eventually lead to springtime and new life.
We live in a changing world and the church is part of that as well. When we see the first signs of change, we might meet that with a sense of nostalgia, looking back lovingly at things which have become familiar for so long. With time some things start to change, and perhaps we experience that as a time of darkness, like the sense of foreboding and unsettling I feel as winter approaches. And yet it is a necessary process as the Spirit prepares the church (that’s us!) for those things which need to change so that the ongoing resurrected life of Jesus can continue to overcome the darkness.
I find a prayer from Compline helpful,
“Let our fears of the darkness of the world and of our own lives rest in you”
As the Gospel of John says:
“The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.” (John 1:5)
May it be so for us.