In autumn we see deciduous trees in their ‘true colours’. During spring and summer, I’m told, the greenness of leaves is due to chlorophyll which is a catalyst in the process of photosynthesis. As the summer fades, less chlorophyll is present, so green no longer masks the yellow, red and orange compounds in the leaf. Interesting that a lot of that beautiful autumn colour is there through summer, we just can’t see it.
It’s a little like quiet people who beaver away at small but significant tasks, keeping the flow of things going in such an unobtrusive way that we don’t always notice.
Leaves themselves are a symbol of the importance of being there and hanging on when you are needed and then letting go when you are not. The leaves are the ‘lungs’ of the tree, taking in the gases needed for the tree to grow and fruit. Then, when the growing season is over, the leaves fall, maybe to become compost for another plant to benefit from.
It occurred to me at Easter that Jesus’ lying in the tomb was the ultimate letting go. He had done what he could. He had kept on being himself and true to his message until he met the brickwall of death. Then there was nothing more to do. He let go and died, leaving that message of life and justice to, first, his disciples, then down through the millennia to us.
If we are in the growing, fruiting part of our life are we hanging in there and being catalysts for change? If we have ‘been there done that’, are we prepared to let go and let others?
And through all these serious tasks of growing, fruiting, and letting go, there is a glorious blaze of colour which is quite simply beautiful for no particular purpose. What a serendipity.
On Sunday we reflect on the third of our trio of women from the Hebrew Bible. First Eve – Seeker, then Miriam – Mother and now Deborah – Judge. You may not have heard much about her and her side-kick Jael. The story is fascinating though maybe should come with a health warning. (If you can’t even make it to church the full script of the reflection and order of service are on the website from Sunday morning. The audio recording makes it to the website about Tuesday.)
After the Gathering, the Exploring Faith study group will meet for the first time in a while. We’ll finish with the John Dominic Crossan DVD and look forward to a new study of David Tacey’s “Religion as Metaphor: Beyond Literal Belief”. See you then!
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