Look at the colours
Autumn, a time of great beauty in the natural world around us but also a season associated with decay and dying. The glorious red, orange and yellow hues in which our deciduous trees are now decked out do not last for very long and we find that our view of things is enlarged thanks to the bare branches.
Today (18th October) was my first Sunday back in St Andrew’s since the lockdown. Both there and in the Meadowside St Paul’s service, I was required to read the edict regarding the Revd Anita who, in the exact words of the edict, has been chosen as “the person the Nominating Committee wish to propose to be our new minister”. Anita will preach for both congregations next Sunday.
So there is no decay here. No dying off. Rather, we look forward to new life, new vitality, in the company of a newly inducted minister. This must be one of the most exciting moments in the life of a congregation; it is the answer to communal and individual prayers. And let’s not forget all the hard work carried out by the members of the Nominating Committee and the Interim Moderator, which in these past few months has been made more difficult because of the Covid-19 restrictions.
Tim’s most recent mailing to St Andrew’s members was a celebration of harvest blessings and autumn colours and included a piece from Anne and the Flower Committee alongside several photos. These included the nasturtium which, she tells us, means “victory and success – possibly because the flower looks like a trophy or trumpet”.
How appropriate, then, is this picture (taken last week) of nasturtiums still flowering close to a shrub (top right) already showing its autumn colours.
I remember planting these nasturtium seeds, back in April, and there has been a succession of orange and yellow flowers brightening up a corner of the garden for some weeks now. The stems are remarkably strong considering the small seeds they came from, and they will cling on to anything they can get a hold of.
This reminded me of what the apostle Paul says in his 1st Letter to the Corinthians:
that the seed we sow does not come to life unless it has first died.
Autumn is here, and we look forward with faith, hope and love to an explosion of colour and a new way of looking at things when the bare branches enable a wider perspective.