God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to divide the day from the night, and let them serve as markers to indicate seasons, days, and years. Let them serve as lights in the expanse of the sky to give light to the earth,” and it was so. God made the two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He also made the stars. God set these lights in place in the expanse of the sky to provide light for the earth, to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. God saw that it was good. There was evening and there was morning—the fourth day.
It’s been a dozen years since I’ve had a child go back to school; it still feels like back to school season.
St Paul makes an interesting observation about the churches in Galatia:
Before you knew God, you were slaves of gods that are not real. But now you know God, or better still, God knows you. How can you turn back and become the slaves of those weak and pitiful powers?[*] You even celebrate certain days, months, seasons, and years. I am afraid I have wasted my time working with you.
[*]powers: Spirits were thought to control human lives and were believed to be connected with the movements of the stars.
These are the same churches that Paul calls out: “You irrational Galatians! Who put a spell on you?”
We are not slaves of unreal gods, irrational people controlled by spirits, or are we? The new Fall TV line-ups are about to roll out, end of season sales, Christmas merchandise hitting the shelves… Artificial seasons. Artificial reasons.
But God said the markers of seasons are good! Lest you get The Byrd’s rendition of Pete Seeger’s “Turn, Turn, Turn” stuck in your ears, here is Ecclesiastes 3 from the CEV:
Everything on earth
has its own time
and its own season.
There is a time
for birth and death,
planting and reaping,
for killing and healing,
destroying and building,
for crying and laughing,
weeping and dancing,
for throwing stones
and gathering stones,
embracing and parting.
There is a time
for finding and losing,
keeping and giving,
for tearing and sewing,
listening and speaking.
There is also a time
for love and hate,
for war and peace.
Jesus said, “When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather because the sky is red.’ In the morning you say, ‘It will be stormy weather today because the sky is red and threatening.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times!”
Jesus points to the created markers of seasons, but warns of the seasons of St Paul’s “weak and pitiful powers.”
Examine biblically the season: back to school, new normal, the pause, the new fall line-up, the end of days. St Paul again,
You irrational Galatians! Who put a spell on you? Jesus Christ was put on display as crucified before your eyes! I just want to know this from you: Did you receive the Spirit by doing the works of the Law or by believing what you heard? Are you so irrational? After you started with the Spirit, are you now finishing up with your own human effort? Did you experience so much for nothing?”
Paul finally points to the Harvest season:
Make no mistake, God is not mocked. A person will harvest what they plant. Those who plant only for their own benefit will harvest devastation from their selfishness, but those who plant for the benefit of the Spirit will harvest eternal life from the Spirit. Let’s not get tired of doing good, because in time we’ll have a harvest if we don’t give up. So then, let’s work for the good of all whenever we have an opportunity, and especially for those in the household of faith.
A season to plant.