“Sing to the Lord of harvest your songs of love and praise; with joyful hearts and voices your alleluias raise; by him the rolling seasons in fruitful order move; sing to the Lord of harvest, a joyous song of love.”—ELW 694

The air on my morning walks has been getting crisper. Although I still wear shorts, a pair of gloves feel nice on my hands. I like the way cold air feels as I breathe it in and out. This time of year brings forth a flood of memories and connections with the places that I have lived in my life. Corn and soybeans being harvested, apple cider doughnuts from the local orchard, the corn bin that the kids would play in for hours and the days it would take to stop finding corn everywhere, Friday Night Lights and Sunday afternoons cheering on your team, crisp leaves to walk in and color, so much color.

I’ve always liked the change of seasons and I will say that they tend to be more obvious in the midwest than they are on the west coast. I remember walking to our apartment in Seattle where I did my internship and the daffodils had come up and as far as I could tell this day was just like the ones that had come before, cold and dreary. How did they know to come out of the ground? I also know that one of these days it is going to start to rain and it will rain a lot but there will seem to be no obvious sign that the change is coming.

In the midst of any change, most of us like to hold on to things that make us feel secure. A favorite Psalm or prayer or scripture may come to mind. We often look to God to be constant when life looks like the waves that Peter encountered when he stepped out of the boat to walk to Jesus. Like Peter, we may even feel like we are sinking with hopes that Jesus will grab us by the hand and pull us out of our predicament. Will Jesus hear our cry, “Save me?” Can we find our way back to solid ground?

I guess the cold morning air and the shorter days make me a bit more reflective. But they also remind me to be gracious and thankful. I am thankful for all of you that are connected to Bethesda some near and some far, I am thankful for my family and this new adventure of foster parenting that we are on, I’m thankful for music that can express so much of what I feel, I’m thankful for authors whose books have become audiobooks to keep my mind occupied while I’m walking, but most of all I am thankful for God. I am thankful that God loves me, has called me a beloved child, and has forgiven me time and time again. God’s grace and mercy give me a chance at seeing the world in a different way. I may not always remember to be thankful. But, today I am.

Pastor Steve