The season has changed. Fall has come. There was a specific day that I could feel it. It was like a brick wall of cold air suddenly hit me as I walked outside one morning. Just a week before, it had been one of the hottest days in summer; and now it has turned the corner. That’s not to say that summer hasn’t tried to push its way back in. We’ve had spurts of warm days here and there. It’s clear, though, that the turnover of seasons has started.
And I am not sad about this one bit. Fall is my favorite time of year and there is so much to look forward to. Kids have started a new year. Football season is in full swing. And the holidays give you permission to eat things that would be inappropriate at any other time of the year. It’s weird to eat bags full of candy in the spring, but during Halloween that’s par for the course. During the summer it’s hard to convince yourself that drinking a thousand calories of Pumpkin Spiced Latte is okay. But during fall, nothing tastes better on a cold day than that sweet syrup-laced drink. Don’t even get me started on pumpkin pies, turkey, mashed potatoes, endless baskets of rolls, and homemade gravy to cover it all. (Except for the pies. No gravy on the pies, please.) I also can’t forget about Christmas music. Starting November 1st, Christmas music will be played up until the actual day.
Now I might be getting ahead of myself. It’s only the beginning of October. But, mark my words, it will come quickly. Many people know this all too well. The craziness of present shopping and food making is just around the corner. It can make it a busy time of year. If we let it. But the real reason I love fall is because it’s a time when we gather with friends and family members. I love my family and I cherish those times together. From my immediate family to my 15 (and growing) cousins. Fall means that there will be numerous times when we gather to celebrate and enjoy one another.
For many though, the season change can be hard. Holidays may not be what they used to be. Family relationships can be complicated and messy, making coming together more challenging than joyful. The cold months can take a toll. They can become more depressing than uplifting. But maybe it’s also an opportunity for us to change the lives of those who do feel alone. An invitation over for dinner. A random coffee for a co-worker. An unexpected visit. A card in the mail. Little things to show that you care and are thinking of them.
Holiday preparations can overtake the joy of the season. But let’s focus on the people,instead of the busyness. The relationships that bring us together in the first place. For its people who actually matter. Meals end. Presents will be unwrapped and forgotten. But people and relationships continue. Those relationships will sustain us through the winter and blossom in the spring. God cares deeply about each and every person and so should we. People are the reason for the season.
Now I will save my Christmas speech until closer to December, but it’s never too early to start making the holiday seasons about relationships and not just stuff. We can be warmth to someone else in need during a time that can be cold and lonely.
Serving Christ with you,
Intern Pastor Jake Schumacher