Geneva United Methodist Church
Monday, November 18, 2019
Make and mature disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

Pastoral Message

Everyone seems to have a favorite time of the year,
and autumn is surely mine. I 
love the cooler temperatures
and the crisp 
night air, the breathtaking colors and the
smell of the leaves, the 
last of the freshly harvested fruit
and vegetables, bright orange 
pumpkins, and the fun of Oktoberfest, Halloween, Grape Jamboree, and all of the
other fall festivals. Some people look 
forward to fall
because of football games, pumpkin-spice 
everything,
or even the end of yard work. This month seems to be 
filled to overflowing with a last exuberant burst of warmth, life and energy. October is all of these things, but it is
also a month of 
transition. The days are now growing
much shorter and the 
darkness of night much longer.
The trees are becoming brown and 
barren. The living
green of summer is being replaced with the 
faded death
of autumn. Birds fly south, animals scurry around 
gathering and storing food before hibernating, and the woodlands and meadows become still and quiet.

We know winter’s silent cold breath and soft, snowy-white
gown 
are just around the corner.

There have been so many members of our church family suffering with very significant illnesses over the last few
months, and that 
has gotten me thinking about the
connection between autumn, 
change and dying. We are reminded in Ecclesiastes 3 that there is a season for all
things in this world, including each of our lives. 
The Good
News of Christ’s grace and salvation for us is that death 
is not the end; it is only a transition. Just as the seasons transition from one to another in a circle without end, the
dying of fall and 
the resting of winter lead inexorably to
the new life of spring. 
 
It is God’s promise to us, God’ covenant with us, sealed
by 
Christ’s own promise and blood, that faith and love
will not lead to 
death, but instead will always lead to the freshness and blessing of new life, both here on earth
and in the time and place to come. 
Even though the
transition from death to new life is daunting and 
something
we tend to resist, perhaps those feelings help us to 
appreciate the gift of life, the beauty of this planet and
the love of 
family and friends even more because of it.

And perhaps they also help us to live our lives here and
now to the 
fullest. Our faith, on the other hand, and God’s
love and Christ’s 
willing sacrifice for us, help us to be
ready when the time comes 
for the next adventure and
the new life that God promises us will 
come next. God’s promise of new life through Christ does not remove all
of our grief or fear associated with death, but it 
certainly removes the final sting.

So as we move deep into fall, always remember – the
beautiful 
leaves that fall to the ground in autumn and
decay during winter 
become part of the soil in the
spring, enriching and helping it to 
bring forth the
verdant new life and beautifully colored blooms of 
springtime.

For everything there is a season, and a time for every
matter under 
heaven. May it be so!

Peace and Blessings, Pastor Randy