Honour the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine. Proverbs 3:9-10( NIV)
I love Autumn—the colours of the trees; the smell of wood smoke; the aroma of making pickles or jam or salsa which fills the house; and the soft texture of throws and quilts make me want to curl up in front of the fire.
At the same time, Autumn is very busy at our church. Sunday school, the youth program, our Chancel choir, and the Worship ensemble all begin to meet again. And before you know it, especially in choral circles, you look towards the Christmas season.
Even working in my garden that dichotomy is present. The blooms from summer flowers are still hanging on, but you know the work must be done before the frost comes.
Rosemary Verey in her book, “A Countrywoman’s Notes” writes about Autumn :
The temperature is so changeable that one must be equipped for anything. At one moment the day is thunderous; a few moments later there is hardly a cloud to be seen, the sun is warm on my back and just as quickly my mood can change.[i]
In nature, as in life, we find these contrasts. Squirrels and chipmunks scurry everywhere, preparing for winter. People tidy their gardens and put winter tires on their vehicles. We close up the windows and get the snow shovels ready. The wild animals prepare their dens.
Why do we feel this need to clean, prepare, preserve? The busyness pulls at our attention, the desire for warmth and relaxation is our goal.
The Bible is full of references to gardens, harvests, filling our barns, sharing the wealth and being prepared.
Could it be that God is constantly reminding us that in all we do we should—honour the Lord—and share our wealth and bounty?
For the fruits of all creation, thanks be to God;
for the gifts to every nation, thanks be to God;
for the ploughing, sowing, reaping, silent growth while we are sleeping,
future needs in earth’s safekeeping, thanks be to God.
–Fred Pratt Green
[i] Verey, Rosemary. A Countrywoman’s Notes. Frances Lincoln : England, 2009. p. 96.