The Bounty of Fall

Brothers and sisters,

There’s a lot going on right now. At the church, we’re planning events like the Trunk-or-Treat happening on October 28th from 4:30-6:30 p.m. We’re also planning a Deacon Ordination service on Sunday, October 29th during morning worship. On top of that, the choir is in the thick of rehearsing Christmas music for Advent and Christmas (did you realize the first Sunday of Advent is only eight Sundays away?).

Within the wider North Carolina community, college football is in full swing with Duke and UNC both looking good. The State Fair is coming to town this week and bringing all the buzz, the hubbub, and fried food that comes with it — though I must admit the crazy food offerings this year are a little lackluster. We’re also in the midst of a string of beautiful weather with perfect temperatures, picturesque skies, and the slightest hints of red, yellow, and orange beginning to show on the leaves.

On the national level, you can walk into any Starbucks and see the overwhelming number of options for how you’d like pumpkin spice in your coffee, with my favorite being the Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew. Or you can turn on any news channel and be treated to a bounty of news stories about how Taylor Swift has taken over the NFL. That includes so many reporters, analysts, and pundits trying to work one of the lyrics from a Taylor Swift song into a pun for their story. And, frankly, most of them should’ve said “No” to doing it.

It feels like a time of bounty and abundance. Summer is wonderful, don’t get me wrong, but to me there’s something magical about the fall. It feels like the whole world is relaxing. We’re all cozying up with coffee or tea for warm nights in or we’re putting on jeans and light jackets to experience the crisp in the air. This doesn’t even begin to touch on all the foods that come with fall which I’ve seen more and more people deeming the beginning of “soup season.” To me, it’s the time of year that just feels right.

In the midst of all of that, I think about the abundance and the bounty of who God is. Last Wednesday night, we talked about what God chooses to do with all God’s power. Specifically, we talked about it in the context of Philippians 2:6-11, where Paul says that Jesus did not see his power as something to be exploited. And so, what does God choose to do with pow-er? God chose to create. When we get outside and enjoy these calm days filled with crisp air, gentle sunshine, and beautifully colored leaves, we see what God does with power. When we gather together with our friends and family, people who have been made by God in God’s image, we see what God does with power. When we come together as a church to worship God, to reach out to others, and to be a positive influence in our world, we see what God does with power. God creates. God liberates. God sets things right. Now and evermore.

Grace and peace,
Pastor Ben