Revd Alan writes

Dear Friends,

September already! Whatever happened to summer? I’m told that summer was the three days we had in May!!

Seriously, September heralds the arrival of autumn and can inspire two kinds of reaction in us …

The first is sorrow that summer is over as we look pessimistically towards winter. The second is to notice that the leaves fall in order to make room for new ones next spring. The first reaction is negative, the second is positive. The first shows sorrow, the second looks forward in hope.

We British are reckoned to be obsessive about the weather; usually seeing it in the worst light. However this is not really the right reaction from the Christian point of view.

An analogous situation to autumn is the arrest and trial of Jesus. His disciples were disappointed that his time with them seemed to be over. We can look back with hindsight and see that it was necessary that Jesus be taken from us in order that he could be restored to us for ever in the spring of his resurrection. This led on to the summer of the Christian Church.

There are autumns in just about all areas of life which we can view positively or negatively and there are people who react in these different ways. Natural optimists find being positive easy but it is not so easy for those who are not. Whilst not being entirely pessimistic it can be all too easy to be defeated by the obstacles which beset us.

Perhaps we can learn a little from the life of Jesus which needed to be tragic in order to become everlasting?

Yours as ever,

(The Revd Dr) Alan Sowerbutts

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