Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
It’s harvest time! It is time to reap what we have sown. October (weather permitting) is also the end of what we prepared for back in March, April or May. It is a time where we see the final culmination of spring time planning and planting.
It’s been a hot and humid summer and the cool north winds that we have experienced this week have been refreshing. The north wind has kind of pushed the last of summer out of me as my mind starts to think about the changing color of leaves, hayrides and carving pumpkins. Not only does my vision seem to change but so does our dinner table as Diana will start making her potato and broccoli, chicken and noodle and good ole’ navy bean soup with cornbread. Diana could make those things at any time but it is her husband with a bias attitude that soups taste better when there is nip of cold air running through the country side.
Once again there is change in the air and with it comes coats, hats and gloves. For the sanctuary we will soon be celebrating Ingathering, remembering all the saints, and then start thinking about Advent and Christmas. However, before we get to November and December we have to go through October so it is not only a time of anticipation but also a time where preparation and planning are in demand.
That word prepare is being tossed around a lot on the cable news networks as it should! Not for the sake of somebody’s candidacy but for the future of the community of faith we call United Methodists. As Sheryl is finding out and sooner or later you will too that I can procrastinate with the best of them. Why is your newsletter late? It’s because the pastor didn’t get his newsletter in on time. So I apologize.
Waiting and not jumping in on certain things is wise advice in some certain circumstances. One of the toughest lessons we need to learn is to have patience and wait on God instead of God waiting on us. For this procrastinator luckily God is patient with us and slow to anger.
On the other hand, we need to have a certain urgency in our witness because as we know Christ will come again. It is the mystery of faith that we proclaim in our communion service when we proclaim: “Christ had died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.” But we don’t know when and that creates a certain urgency to do what we got to do in the name of Jesus.
If October is anything like September where I blinked and almost missed it there becomes an urgency to our preparation. So like the farmer who planned, planted and now harvests we need to plan, plant and prayerfully when winters chill penetrates our bones we will be ready with warm coats and good tasting soup. For us procrastinators we have our excuses and the why’s we haven’t accomplished what we needed to accomplish and all are great reasons. You can have all the great reasons in the world but when the clock runs out and the game is over those excuses and reasons no matter how noble they are really don’t matter anymore. The scoreboard may not be in our favor but like our Riverside Bulldogs we played one hell of great game and because of that I believe God will say “yes” to God’s faithful servants.
See you Sunday!
Rev. Dennis Hopes