The Circle of Life

Sunday 27th September 2015

 The Circle of Life

At this time of the year, our thoughts turn to Harvest Festival celebrations: those wonderfully nostalgic occasions, filled with vivid colour and rich scents which nudge the mind to recall numerous Harvest Festivals from long ago.

Often at those festivals of thanksgiving, we read the words of God’s covenant with Noah after the flood:  ‘As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease’ (Genesis 8 : 22). 

Of course, in recent decades, and with increasing urgency, scientists have warned of the dangers of catastrophic climate change resulting from human activity, and the serious effects that careless use of the world and its resources can have on the seasons.  There is much we can say and do as a Christian response to those concerns, and  is an excellent resource if you want to follow this up.  However, the turning of the seasons, the changing patchwork of the countryside, the rest and renewal of the earth, remind us that our lives and routines are held in a bigger 'circle of life'. 

As I walked through the park this afternoon, noticing hints of changing colour in the trees, feeling the first chill of Autumn, listening to the sounds of the children in the playground, back at school again after the summer, I was struck by the vulnerable predictability of this cycle.  Our lives generally, by and large, are held in a routine.  We wake, work, bring up our families, relax and sleep, hardly noticing as the circle turns.   There is a reassurance about the continuing cycle of life, about the routines of our days.  But may we never take them for granted.   And when the routines suffer unwelcome interruption, and our lives go ‘off course’ for a while, let us always remember we are never outside the bigger circle of God’s constancy, provision and care.