Image: George Mendoza
(Full disclosure: it's been a very busy weekend and I've not had time for everything. So, I'm posting last year's pre-Labor Day Morning Offering for this week.)
Good morning, good God!
My nomad friend reminds me
it’s only early spring "down under"
- and of course, you know that, Lord!
But up on this side of the equator
the sun sets sooner each evening
as Labor Day's horizon
begins to eclipse these august days…
So, I'm wondering, Lord:
why must good times come to an end?
The good times sometimes come too seldom -
and then, they’re gone...
And as wonderful as memories are,
they are, well, memories...
Why, Lord, must the good days come to an end?
Why are memories not enough?
Why is the fall-filtered beauty of light and leaves
not enough today
to help me let go summer’s warmth
and pace and peace?
Of seasons there are four...
but yet a hundred seasons more
just in my life alone, Lord:
seasons of presence, seasons of pain;
seasons of sadness, seasons of gain;
seasons of sunlight, seasons of rain;
seasons of comfort, seasons of strain;
seasons of planting, seasons of grain;
seasons of waiting and waiting for seasons
to break the seasons’ chain…
So many seasons, Lord…
And letting go of summer is not easy…
I should be grateful for autumn:
your gentle preparation
of everyone and everything
for the dying winter will surely bring…
Still, letting go of summer is not easy...
You know the seasons better than I, Lord,
and no season changes
'round me or in me
but that you first know
how the changes
will change me...
Be with me, Lord,
in all the seasons of my life
and be with me in between the seasons,
when moving from one to the next
is itself a season to bear…
I offer you my heart this Monday morning, Lord,
and every morning this week
edging me to Labor Day
and the beginning of so many things…
Help me let go of what is slipping away...
Take my offered heart
and open me to what is new and changing
in the weeks and months ahead…
You are the source of the seasons, Lord,
and the strength I need
to live in them and through them:
be my guide and walk with me
through this day, this week,
through this summer-fall season’s change…
(Perhaps my prayer above and the video below are premature... Labor Day is not the end of warm days nor really the beginning of fall... Still, in American culture and in the clime of the northern hemisphere, many things do begin to change with the first Monday in September...)
by Nicole Nordeman
Every evening sky, an invitation
To trace the patterned stars
And early in July, a celebration
For freedom that is ours
And I notice You
In children’s games
In those who watch them from the shade
Every drop of sun is full of fun and wonder
You are summer...
And even when the trees have just surrendered
To the harvest time
Forfeiting their leaves in late September
And sending us inside
Still I notice You when change begins
And I am braced for colder winds
I will offer thanks for what has been and was to come
You are autumn...
And everything in time and under heaven
Finally falls asleep
Wrapped in blankets white, all creation
And still I notice you
When branches crack
And in my breath on frosted glass
Even now in death, You open doors for life to enter
You are winter...
And everything that’s new has bravely surfaced
Teaching us to breathe
What was frozen through is newly purposed
Turning all things green
So it is with You
And how You make me new
With every season’s change
And so it will be
As You are re-creating me
Summer, autumn, winter, spring...
Posted by Concord Pastor at 5:00 AM