The Weekly Word - A Devotion for the Week of November 7
Bright orange pumpkins and gourds decorate doorsteps around town. Maple and honey locust trees are turning scarlet and gold, and sunlit cornfields shimmer against a brilliant blue sky.
Autumn paints the landscape in exuberant color, but there is a bittersweet side to the season as well. In fact, the word “fall” comes from the Old English word “feallan” – meaning to fall or to die. In a matter of a few short weeks, the trees that are now ablaze with color will stand bare, stripped of their foliage. Our gardens will be raked clean of summer’s rich bounty. Coneflower, zinnias and ornamental grasses will dry into brittle stalks. Soon the vibrant beauty of fall will transition to the gray days of winter.
Winter may be our least favorite season (at least for many of us), but it is a necessary one. Autumn and winter enable what’s no longer useful or necessary to fall away in order to make space for new growth in the spring. It’s a time for the earth to replenish, storing up energy for the burst of life that will take place in April and May.
The same can be said for our spiritual growth. Our old, unhealthy behaviors, bad habits and sins must fall away in order to make room for new life and new growth. We, too, must let go of all that is inhibiting us from true life in Christ and retreat into rest in order to be replenished and reinvigorated for the work God has for us. The spiritual seasons of fall and winter are necessary for the spring of rebirth and new life.
The new creation will indeed come, as Paul reminds the Corinthians; our spiritual spring will indeed arrive. But first, we must allow ourselves to let go of all that is old and no longer necessary. We die to ourselves (Romans 6:6) to make space for our new selves to thrive in Christ.
Heavenly Father, help me let go of the sins that are weighing me down. Help me release all that is unnecessary so that I may thrive in You. Amen.