Saturday, March 19, 2016

What is your favorite season: spring summer, autumn (fall) or winter?

Blessed by the spring robin and faith in Jesus

Blessed Spring Robin by Elizabeth Knaus using Adobe Illustrator software.

The calendar is marked and the climate changes with seasons. God’s creation instinctively knows what to do in order to survive and thrive. 

He made the moon to mark the seasons; the sun knows its time for setting. Psalm 104:19 ESV
In one year, four distinctive three-month seasons each bring something different: occasional snow in winter, pleasant temperatures in spring/fall, and intense heat during summer. This fluctuation occurs in Kansas where I live; yet, near the equator temperatures remain steady and seasons are marked by the amount of precipitation that is received.

We live during the season of grace on earth before Jesus Christ returns on the Last Day.

“Every generation should expect Christ’s return as they see the signs of the end times. … God wants all people to come to believe and trust in His Son for their salvation and to lead holy lives in service to Him, eagerly awaiting with patience and perseverance His return on the last day.” Excerpt from pdf “What About . . .The New Millenniumby Dr. A.L. Barry, past President of The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod
We know there will be an end, yet in sin we often:
  • slip up on good intentions
  • procrastinate
  • reject opportunities to receive His gifts of Word and Sacrament
  • ignore chances to honor Him through caring and sharing with others
  • worship and praise Him less or not at all
  • become selfish with time, talent and money
  • separate ourselves from Him
  • apathetically, become complacent toward churches who support false teachers that twist His truth or flat-out reject it
  • claim we don’t need Him/His forgiveness (are blind to our own sin)
  • are lazy
  • the list goes on as we think and act in ways that are against His commandments
There is no getting around it. We sin without even knowing it!
They do not say in their hearts, ‘Let us fear the Lord our God, who gives the rain in its season, the autumn rain and the spring rain, and keeps for us the weeks appointed for the harvest.’ Jeremiah 5:24 ESV
God loves us and hates sin. The Spirit provides faith, desire and ability to repent and turn away from sin. His command for us is to put Him above all our “small-g” gods and look to His Son whose virgin birth, perfect life, suffering, death and bodily resurrection took away the punishment we deserve. Only in Christ we receive forgiveness. Wisdom, courage and power is ours when we hear and read His Word. Out of thanksgiving, we strive to honor Him by making an effort to do great things and share His love.

Lovely sights in nature draw me to my Creator. 

I grew up in Minnesota where a robin sighting marks the beginning of spring. We enjoyed ice skating and building snowmen, but winters started early and were long-lasting. Whoever happened to see the first robin was somewhat of a hero who brought a little joy into the day! After I moved over 500 miles south, I learned that Kansans see robins two months before Minnesotans do and the warmer climate allows us to grow different plants. With the help of God we: confess/repent/recieve forgiveness of sin; watch our diet and exercise to improve our health; keep up property landscape aesthetics. We must clean the yard, prune pampas grass, physically and spiritually clean up our act. Spring is a season to start fresh growth.

Today I went for a walk and saw the largest flock of robins I’d ever seen; a rough estimate is over 50 of them! Repeatedly, they were taking-off and landing in the grass ditch near the Solomon River. I enjoy observing the mysterious lives of birds and imagining dreamy things like the ability to fly. I’m not alone—the birding hobby soars in popularity across North America. It is an art and science.
My parents enjoyed watching birds. They kept this pair of antique binoculars by the back door window. The vintage globe sat on the filing cabinet in the room we called den. Now they’re displayed on a stacking bookcase I inherited from my maternal grandmother. The cherished handiwork of my mother, Hardanger embroidery or “Hardangersøm”, was a Christmas gift which must have taken many hours to create. The green vase holds April plant clippings from my back yard including purple iris and viburnum alleghany.

Dad’s favorite bird species inspired him and Mom to study their patterns. 

Dad built fancy hotels for purple martins. To track migration patterns, Mom went online at the library to check sighting data which she reported back to Dad. Together, they anticipated the arrival of when their martins would check in. I imagine their bird watching hobby was sparked by their interest in the weather which had been an important aspect of their occupational livelihood as seed crop farmers before retirement.

In their lives I remember that in everything — the good and hard times — they studied the Word, gave thanks, and trusted His will to be done through Jesus Christ. They had peace.
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Matthew 6:25-26

In the seasons of a Christian’s life,

… we walk by faith, not by sight. … 2 Corinthians 5
No matter what we face, in God’s Word we can start each day fresh. His forgiveness is always there for us to receive when we pray and remember our baptism in Jesus Christ who suffered for us so by His pure grace we can live. He knows our challenges and pain. He comforts us and celebrates our joys — right here, right now — until the day we die and eternal life with Him is ours.
For everything there is a season,
and a time for every matter under heaven: 
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 ESV

Antique binoculars, Ephesians 3:20-21
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Ephesians 3:20-21 ESV
If you have heard of the following terms…
  • Ash Wednesday
  • Season of Lent
  • Holy Week
  • Maundy Thursday
  • Good Friday
  • Easter
…but you don’t know what it’s all about and want more information, please call and ask a pastor at a church near you.

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