Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. John 15:13 NKJV
It’s Christmas morning and I’m sitting in the quiet of my living room before my home comes to life. During the night God blessed us with a white Christmas. As I look out my window the trees are swaying in the frigid wind as cold air howls against my house. The ground has gone dormant under a frosty white blanket. Only a few short months ago my yard was teeming with life. But as the temperatures plummeted the vibrant side of nature went to sleep. The bears that once visited my yard regularly now hibernate. The deer are sparse. The sweet melody of birds has gone mute. It will be a good three months before the sun draws near.
When spring arrives the frigid air will soften. The frozen ground will begin to thaw, and the warm air will invade the world around me. As the snow begins to melt nature will rouse from her winter slumber. The birds’ melody will celebrate the sun’s warmth. The grass will leave the gray cloak of winter behind as it dresses in new and vibrant colors. Sleeping tree buds will give birth a new population of green leaves. The animal kingdom will reemerge. Baby fawns will romp in play. A mama bear will awaken to find two bear cubs born during her winter’s sleep. When spring arrives new life will blossom everywhere. As I breathe in the fresh air of spring I will see all things made new under the glowing sun.
When summer arrives the yard will be covered in a lush green carpet that beckons bare feet. Chipmunks will chase each other as they burrow through the landscape of flowers. The windows in my home will welcome gentle breezes that exhilarate my soul. The view of the valley off my deck will showcase a variety of hearty pines, oaks, and black chestnut trees. Red tail hawks will glide over the treetops and hummingbirds will hover over the sugary syrup in the feeder. Butterflies will dance through the air while fireflies light up the yard in the evening. This is the season when creatures great and small, foliage strong and tender are offered the prime environment to thrive. This is the season when the sun shines radiant on my corner of the world.
When fall arrives an early morning nip in the air will tell the story of soon coming change. Blades of grass will awaken to a thin coating of ice. Green leaves will don a colorful new wardrobe of orange, red, and amber. The valley off my deck will morph into an autumn pallet of earth tones. The animal kingdom will rummage for supplies to carry them through the fast approaching winter months. The remaining signs of life will soon be put to bed for a three month slumber. As fall invades my side of the world the sun will turn away and all of life will feel the impact of her distance.
As I sit looking at the soft glow of the Christmas tree lights, I am reflecting on the Savior’s birth and His journey as a man. His earthly life also tells the story of changing seasons.
It had been 400 years since God spoke a word to His people. When the Son dawned a glowing light seeped into a frigid cold land bringing a flicker of warmth in the most unexpected place. A manger cradled a babe who brought new life to a dormant world. The tiny reed that sprang from Bethlehem’s desolate ground grew in strength under the power of God’s Word. With every passing year of His life the Light in Him grew in strength. When the Sun reached great fullness His brilliance shined over all of the land.
At 30 years old Jesus began His public ministry. The Son’s glory showered the land in warmth creating the prime environment for optimal growth. The world around Him began to flourish. Everything the Son of God touched came to life. The world once void of activity was suddenly teeming with life. The lost found their way. The sick were restored to health. The unloved filled. The ignorant enlightened. All who felt the brilliance of the Son flourished under the warmth of His presence.
As the Son drew nearer to the cross the temperatures within the culture hinted toward soon coming change. The warmth of the Son was assaulted by a religious frost. As the temperatures plummeted among the leaders, the Savior’s warmth made way for unwanted but necessary changes. After His arrest the culture began to wither in the absence of the Son.
And then a crucifixion ~ When the Son was crucified the earth fell into frigid temperatures at His departure. Three days the world fell into a frozen state of dormancy. The Light of the world was snuffed out by the cold. And all went silent.
Until…the hand of God moved. A stone rolled away ~ a grave cloth removed ~ an empty tomb. And the Son dawned upon the earth once again! The light from the Savior showered the entire earth in God’s glory declaring salvation before the whole world! Hallelujah! Our Savior crucified death!
Before the four seasons of the world were created God set His eyes on redemption. A Son so radiant made His way into the frozen darkness to shine the warmth of God’s love on us all. Jesus endured the changing seasons of His life making the greatest sacrifice. He passed through the dormancy of death so that all who put their faith in Him will have life eternal in the presence of the brilliant Son. He did all of this to tell the story of His unfailing love for us.
Friends, because of what Jesus did we too can endure every season we find ourselves in, even unto death. The rays of God’s blessings shower upon us in immeasurable ways. His love shines in glorious brilliance everyday in every way forever and for always. Such love is worthy of eternal celebration!
Question to Ponder
What season of life are you in right now and how close are you drawing to the Son as you walk through this season of your life?