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    Fall:
    James 5:7-8
    The fall is often a season of waiting — waiting for winter, waiting for the holidays, waiting for the Super Bowl, and so on. The apostle James captured this theme with a farming metaphor to remind us of the importance of waiting on God’s timing.

    7 Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. 8 You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.

    Fall starts on Thursday so I will focus there. Maybe fall is a time of waiting but it is also a time of beginnings. Remember what it was like to experience the excitement of a new school year, a new teacher, a new classroom, and new friends. Remember the start-up of Cubs, Brownies, Scouts, Girl Guides, and football, hockey, and music or dance lessons. If you were like me, many of my friends were away during the summer so I looked forward to getting them back in the neighbourhood.

    Remember the students who did not come back to school in September because they were busy on the farm bringing in the tomatoes, or the corn for the animals in the winter or picking the peaches and apples. Maybe we did that ourselves – I know I did the back-breaking task of harvesting tomatoes for a farmer taking them to Heinz to be made into soup or Ketchup. And remember the taste of freshly picked corn or a tomato just picked and eaten in hand.

    Fall is all about the harvest and it also brings with it the wonder of colourful leaves. The other seasons bring other delights. I love to swim so in the later spring and summer I love to be by the pool or on the beach. I am not a skier or into hockey but I do enjoy curling – very much a winter sport.

    It is wondrous what we experience in the seasons.

    The cycle of life we see here in Southern Ontario from the bright green buds on the trees in the spring to the sprouting plants in May and June to the harvest of August through October to the bareness of the landscape in January is a marvel we cannot explain ourselves with our human mind. The fact is it gets light at 5 in the morning and stays light until after 9 at night in this region during late June and early July while in January, it is often after 7 before we see the light of day and the sun sets well before 5 at night. It is part of what makes Southern Ontario one of the best regions in the world for market gardening.

    That cycle differs in different parts of the world. When I did my Master’s degree in London England I was shocked that it was still dark at 8 in the morning and again by 3 in the afternoon. Then when I lived in Manila, the regularity of light at 6:15 or so in the morning and darkness 12 hours later was so different. I am describing things in nature. We know yes about the tilt to the earth and how that tilt changes through the year which explains why it gets light when it does BUT what causes the earth to change its tilt through a very regular cycle?

    That reminds me as to how blessed we are to experience the seasons but not the extremes. We do not have the extreme heat of areas in the Southern USA, nor do we have the extreme cold of the South Pole. When I lived in Edmonton, we had one period in 1969 when there were 40 days when it did not get above 40 below zero temperature (and 40 below is the same in Celsius and in Fahrenheit).

    We have noted how the seasons change and how fall brings us a wondrous marvel of God’s creation but we can see God’s creation in so much.

    Have you ever looked at the seeds we harvest? It is hard to tell from the seed what kind of fruit or vegetable you are going to eat. Sometimes the seeds look so alike and yet different sizes and shapes of leaves, different flowers, different vegetables and different sized plants develop from seeds that seem to be so alike. Seeds, of one type – let us say snapdragons can take on many colours from deep reds to yellows and whites, yet the seed looks identical.

    Recently, technology has allowed us to find out about DNA. The little cell can give clues as to what your ancestry is but can also tell you what diseases you are more susceptible to. It can tell you about the colour of your eyes and hair. To be able to bury all that into a cell when we were conceived – how does a scientist explain that?
    The fall equinox helps us realize how nature is so full of blessings but also helps us realize how little we are in control over nature. How little we know and how much we need to search for a supreme being.

    When I was in University more than 50 years ago, I had a theology professor who had a doctorate in Chemistry and he said there were things that could not be explained by his scientific study so he went back to school to study theology to get a second doctorate. To him the proof there is a God is in the fact you cannot explain the rhythm of life and chemistry or physics without there having been a Supreme Being who designed it all and makes it run.

    It is that wonderful God “who sees the little sparrow fall” who has set in motion all the wonderful aspects of life scientists have not yet figured out how to explain. It is Our Lord who brings us together to worship and thank him for putting us here in the midst of his creation. As we see the colours of chrysanthemums, of the leaves, and we feel the cooler breezes of the evening or early morn, we need to focus on our God.

    Our God expects us to relish in the fellowship of each other – to enjoy but also to look after His Creation. It is our God’s expectation that we will do what we can to help one another, but most of all to help those who are most in need, the sick, the widows and the children. Yes, our lives go through a cycle too just as nature goes through a cycle. There are times in our lives when we grow and learn. There are times when we give off the fruit of our learning, and then there are times when we need the help. Isn’t it wonderful that there are people who study, become the helpers in our society, and then at some point they themselves need help. Who designed such a system? I say it is God’s design

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