The view from my study window has changed a lot recently. The once green and flourishing views of grass, flowers and trees have been replaced by a picture of reds, yellows and browns. Some of us may think that the wonderful colours of autumn mark it out as the most beautiful time of year. But what is actually going on? What does autumn mean?
Although the colours of autumn may look beautiful, when we see the greens turning to browns, what we are actually seeing is the onset of death. Those leaves eventually fall to the ground, leaving the trees baron and the ground full of seeds and decaying leaves. Imagine for a moment, that we have only ever known summer – we’ve only ever known the life and fruitfulness of summer. If we were then confronted with the death of autumn, it would be a rather startling prospect. The once flourishing landscape is suddenly subject to death and decay. Oh my goodness! What is going to happen? Everything is dying – this is the end!
Who is going to save?
In the depths of winter – will there be new life again? Do we have a hope? Well, we all know, the answer is YES! There is hope – there is a Saviour! And who/what is that Saviour? Well, what happens in the spring? What begins to warm the ground again, shedding its light on the vegetation? That’s right – the sun. The sun which is there to proclaim to us Jesus Christ, the Son comes in its life-giving and life-sustaining power and brings new life. People all around the world – especially in areas where they rely on the amazing fruitfulness of the spring crops – await the life of spring with eager anticipation. The seeds that fell to the ground in the autumn sprout into new plants and trees – the trees are teeming with new leaves and blossoms – life is everywhere – and it’s all because of him – the Sun of Righteousness (Mal 4:2).
In Jude 1:12, those who reject Jesus are described as ‘autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted – twice dead.’ Unless we have a Saviour, we are forever stranded in the decay of autumn – there is no way forward to the flourishing life of spring. Through the autumn and winter of our lives, Jesus is here to bring us into the spring and summer of new life. We must die to ourselves in order to find new life in Christ (John 12:24-26; Rom 5:12-21).
Could it be that the seasons are here to proclaim something to us: The need for a Saviour?