Didsbury URC – Autumn Reflection for 1st November 2020

Today’s reflection for 1st November has been provided by Mrs. Margaret Dexter-Brown, a lay preacher from the South Area Missional Partnership.

REFLECTION

At this time of the year, the words from Keats’ poem come into mind:

Seasons of mist and mellow fruitfulness… and also from Ecclesiastes: For

everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.

As I sit to write this reflection, it is a stunning autumn morning, the late

summer sun is streaming through the window, bringing warmth and light.

It is surprising how quickly the seasons this year have come and gone,

given the ever changing restrictions we are living under. But it does

reaffirm that the seasons are changing as they should.

I have been in isolation over the last two weeks, following surgery, and at

first I felt very confined, but it became apparent, that if I sat quietly and

looked out of my windows, how much of God’s infinitely awesome creation

was laid out before me. The colours at this time of the year are absolutely

stunning.

Some small apples are falling from the tree, to be pounced on by a variety

of birds. Not far away from where I live there is a garden with a “burning

bush” – a kind of deciduous shrub. Although it is green most of the year, in

autumn the leaves turn a brilliant red before they fall, it is worth waiting 50

weeks of ordinariness for a brilliant two-week splurge of colour!

Although I love aspects of all four seasons, I feel a very strong connection

with Autumn. It brings along cooler temperatures, shorter days, and such

brilliantly vibrant colours. Somehow you just can’t miss or ignore Autumn.

It is as though God is saying to us: ‘Come in! I’ve painted the woodland

areas with gold, orange, brown and yellow – just for you. Come in and kick

your feet among the crisp fallen leaves. There is a special sound, smell,

touch and taste to this season.

For me, Autumn marks an ending. For those of you who are gardeners, then

autumn marks the time when you begin ‘to put the garden to bed’. Fruit

and vegetables are harvested; flower bushes are dead headed or cut back

and, most excitingly of all, you can begin to plan for the next year. Autumn

reminds us year on year, what we all know but often forget which is that

endings mark new beginnings, something we have been experiencing

through most of the seasons in 2020. As we have been wrapping up the

old, we prepare for the new. The way in which we end, shapes the way in

which we will begin again. And as we watch leaves fluttering to the ground,

we are reminded that nature’s cycles are mirrored in our lives. Autumn is a

time for letting go and releasing those things which have been a burden.

This is the right time to practice getting out of the way and allowing the

Spirit to take charge of our lives.

 

PRAYER:

God of the ordinary and extraordinary, give us a discerning eye to see the

extraordinary in the ordinary things of daily life. When Autumn arrives, we

can look back and better understand the way you have led us; but we still

have work to do – perhaps the best and fullest – equip us for the tasks ahead.

As the seasons come and go, we focus on you Living God, you remain

unchanged and unchanging and we journey onward with you. May you

know God’s blessings each new day.

Amen.

THE LORD’S PRAYER

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation. But deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory, for ever and ever.

Amen

 

 

HYMN: TO GOD BE THE GLORY (REJOICE & SING 289)

To God be the glory, great things he has done!

So loved he the world that he gave us his Son,

who yielded his life in atonement for sin,

and opened the life-gate that all may go in.

 

Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! Let the earth hear his voice!

Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! Let the people rejoice!

O come to the Father, through Jesus the Son;

And give him the glory – great things he has done!

 

O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood,

to every believer the promise of God!

and every offender who truly believes,

that moment from Jesus a pardon receives;

 

Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! Let the earth hear his voice!

Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! Let the people rejoice!

O come to the Father, through Jesus the Son;

And give him the glory – great things he has done!

 

Great things he has taught us, great things he has done,

and great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son;

but purer and higher the greater will be

the wonder, the beauty, when Jesus we see;

 

Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! Let the earth hear his voice!

Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! Let the people rejoice!

O come to the Father, through Jesus the Son;

And give him the glory – great things he has done!

 

BLESSING:

Go now in peace, never be afraid, God will go with you each hour of every

day.

Go now in faith steadfast, strong and true know He will guide you in all you

do.

Go now in love and show you believe, reach out to others so all the world

can see.

God will be there watching from above. Go now in peace in faith, and in

love.

Amen.