Last Sunday, we considered a particularly challenging scripture. It ended with little of promise of hope for a people who had decidedly turned from God. God was angry and determined to allow the people to experience the full consequences of their behavior. The metaphor used in the prophetic vision was summer fruit. But, as we examined the passage, it seemed to be a basket of fruit left to rot. The only source of consolation was that seasons change.
Summer turns to fall, fall to winter, winter to spring, and spring to summer. Each season has its own characteristics, but even that is subject to your position on the earth. Folks in Argentina experience seasons exactly the opposite from us during the same time of year. The closer you are to the extremes of the planet also impact your seasonal encounters. Those near the equator have less fluctuations while those nearest the poles have the most dramatic extremes. Still, even in those locations, seasons change.
It reminds us that circumstances change as well. The psalmist also remembers that and finds it a source of rejoicing, thanksgiving, and praise. The Lord extends grace; it’s God’s nature. God forgives and restores, beckons and welcomes, comforts and redeems. That is the heart of the gospel. Our hearts can change; our communities can change; and our world can change. With God, it will be for the better.
Let us encourage one another. Let us love our neighbor. Let us be the church.