We made it, folks! This week marks the official beginning of Summer. Aren't you glad?
The temperature is rising, the sun is shining, and the grass and trees are bursting with green. As humans, we are just happier in the Summer.
Because Summer represents life as it should be.
It’s not perfect, but life, in nearly every aspect, finds its yearly peak in Summer. Plants bloom, birds sing, people rejoice and community happens more in Summer than any other Season.
When reflecting on the four chapters or seasons of the year, I noticed something interesting.
Earth’s seasons arguably represent the most accurate metaphor for the Gospel.
Let’s say the creation story takes place in late August.
Summer shines in its full glory beaming heat and light into our lives. But slowly, we begin to fantasize about life apart from the warm rays of the Sun.
Would life be better if it wasn’t Summer?
Suddenly we are thrown into the throngs of Autumn, or as many of us ironically and appropriately refer to it as the “Fall.”
Fall is fun at first, just as most "new" or "different" things are.
As we seem to draw farther from the Sun, it no longer provides the light or heat it once did. The days grow shorter, the air turns colder, and the once beautiful and radiant display of fiery red, exquisite orange, and electric yellow leaves are now nothing more than a chore to be raked or an obstacle to be walked around.
When the last leaf drops, the party is over. Winter has arrived.
From Cain and Abel through the rest of the Old Testament, death reigns. A few signs of life reveal themselves, but most are nothing more than painful reminders of the life that once was.
We huddle inside our homes in an attempt to escape the blistering cold which seems to only grow colder. Desperately, we search for the same life-giving star we once took for granted.
We beg for its light and warmth, but God doesn’t send us the Sun.
He does us one better; He sends us the Son.
As December grips us firmly, we celebrate the birth of a child in ancient Bethlehem. We gather round and sing His praises for Jesus represents hope for something better and an end to all the suffering we currently endure.
But, Winter is far from over. The coldest months are yet to come.
January whips us like lashes and February stings us like thorns.
Time seems to stand still. What warmth and light the Son provides us during this cold and dark time is ultimately rejected as we nail Him to a cross.
The giver of life has been put to death.
A late February freeze forces us to ask, “Will we ever see Summer again?” If only we had never left..
Just then, a baby bird starts to chirp. The stone rolls away. A flower blooms, the frost melts, and Spring greets us with a smile.
Every color of the rainbow graces our eyes as the world takes a deep breath once again.
Death is defeated. Winter is gone. Hallelujah!
We race as fast as we can toward Summer, but we’re held back by water and air desperately clinging to the comfortable and familiar coldness they grew used to in Winter.
Old habits, I guess.
The days grow longer, the temperatures rise, and people take to the streets in celebration of our relationship with life being restored.
But, as soon as we realize we’ve come full circle, we simultaneously find ourselves overcome with painful memories collected over the past three seasons. A whole year, just to return back to where we started.
We begin to ask ourselves, “What was the point of it all?”
Behold, life’s greatest question.
If an answer to this question exists, it is this:
Only after we understand and experience the pain of the Fall, the death of the Winter, and the resurrection of the Spring can we fully appreciate the joy and life Summer provides.
Thank you, Mother nature, for teaching me the Gospel. God is good, and so is Summer.
“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities
—his eternal power and divine nature—
have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made,
so that people are without excuse.”
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