The weather seems to have suddenly shifted into autumn. The temperature is beginning to consistently drop and even the sunny days have a crispness to them. Morning walks now require a sweatshirt. It can't be long before we start seeing snow.
But between now and that first snowfall on what will probably be a gray, blustery day, we have these early days of autumn. The early days of a seasonal change when we need sweaters or light jackets in the morning, only to forget them at the office because it's warmed up. The early days of autumn when leaves change from the long, green season to the season of reds, yellows, oranges and all shades thereof. The early days of autumn when hot chocolate is a comfort drink rather than a drink of necessity.
This seasonal change is a reminder that change is all around us. By virtue of being alive we are subject to change. We do not live out our lives as toddlers, but we change and learn and grow and, eventually, die. The church lives a yearly cycle of change beginning with Advent and cycling through the seasons of Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, and Pentecost. Individual parishes also live through cycles of change throughout its life. As we look back over the life of Saint John's, there have certainly been changes and cycles from our beginning on Mulberry Street to the fire at Antietam and Summit to where we are now.
As we enter this seasonal change, this is a good time to evaluate changes in our own lives. As the trees begin to lose their leaves, are there things we can lose – extra coats or clothes we no longer use, for instance? Before those leaves are lost, they provide the world with radiant colors. How might we provide the radiant colors of God's love to the world around us? Before long, the world will be cold, bleak, and dark. When that change comes, may we be warm, cheerful, and bright.