"The Change of Seasons ...."
One of the joys of living in the UK is the variety of the seasons as the year rolls around. In other parts of the world the seasons and the weather are much more stable, but here the seasons come and go, sometimes all of them in just one day! And with the changing of the seasons the year takes on different feelings, colours, senses of perspective and more, each season taking us on its own journey into the wonders of creation.
With a different perspective the seasons of the church’s year provide us with a varied insight and dynamic as we encounter, engage with, and explore our relationship both with God and with the world we share. Recently we’ve enjoyed the celebration of the ‘Easter’ season, then of holding our breath with the Disciples, praying ’Thy Kingdom Come’, awaiting the promised gift of the Holy Spirit and her explosive arrival at ‘Pentecost’. And now we enter that season traditionally called ‘Trinity’, for a while the ‘Sundays of Pentecost’, and now more prosaically ‘Ordinary Time’. I have heard it suggested that none of these really do this season justice, and it should really be called the ‘Season of Discipleship’. In this season we move away from telling the chronological story of Jesus’ ministry to exploring with him what it means to be a Disciple, a follower of Jesus, a child of God.
My friend Benedict would tell you that the art, the practice, the endeavour of discipleship is not to be found in the mountain-top experiences that we so often look for when imagining an encounter with God, but rather through prayerfully being so attentive to the stuff of every day that we come to recognise the presence of God in all that we are and all that we do. We don’t have to go looking for God, she’s already here. We don’t have to search for Jesus, he’s already walking along side us. We don’t need to invoke the Holy Spirit she’s already deep at work within our lives,
but often it doesn’t feel like that, so we start all sorts of activities and spiritual gymnastics to somehow capture a passing wisp of God, forgetting that she’s already here, always speaking to us in her still small voice, ready to be heard if we would but pay attention. This is a season for listening.
God Bless, Steve