I love fall! Fall is my most favorite time of year. I love the end to summer. Summers in Alabama are long, hot, and humid, but fall is relief. I love the break from the heat, the changing colors, the cool breezes that blow, the death of mosquitos, and the atmosphere of Friday night football. Fall is my favorite time of the year!
Lately, I‘ve been soaking up fall. My latest technique and focused time of Bible study has come on my back porch. My new home borders a small government preserved tract of land with ample supply of trees, squirrels, raccoons, and mosquitos. The forest behind my house provides a wonderful view and an array of sounds in the early morning hours for Bible reading, prayer, and coffee consumption.
Just the other day, as I spent time in prep for my teaching time at The Church at Lake Guntersville Downtown, I was reminded of the picture that fall paints. I was reminded of a quote by Martin Luther regarding spring, “Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime.” Luther’s quote is brilliant, motivating, and beautiful. I assume that the famous reformer of the 1500’s favorite time of the year was spring.
My reading of the quote, however, reminds me of fall. If the wonder of dogwoods blooming is the resurrection, then what is fall besides my favorite time of the year? In short, fall must mean death! As I reflect fall does mean death. The fall of brown leaves in my backyard is death. The decreasing population of mosquitos is death! The approaching winter is death to the greenest of leaves, the tallest of grass, and the largest mosquito. Death is fall, but fall doesn’t just happen. Fall happens in time. In the south, fall dallies about with summer. In other words, summer doesn’t die easy. Fall usually happens through the ebb and flow of weather patterns, thunderstorms, and larger nautical storms, but every year, sometimes in October and sometimes in November, fall arrives.
All of my musing about fall and death reminds me of a letter written by Jesus’ best friend. In a letter to struggling churches in 70 A.D. he wrote these words,
“15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life [a]—is not from the Father but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.”[i]
Sometimes I get caught up in this passage, trying to define the terms, parse the verbs, and debunk the world, but the truth that John reveals is simple. The simple truth is fall. The world, both in a physical and spiritual sense is passing away, but the beauty of a fleeting life, is that it can last forever. The beauty of fall is that new life will occur in spring; likewise the beauty of Christianity is the abiding love of God that weathered death, resurrected, and will return for those who love and obey Him.
Be reminded that Jesus is the greatest treasure of this world, because He doesn’t fade, fall, or die.
[i] 1 John 2:15-18