I always associated the summer with BBQs and siestas, until I became part of Jubilee. Nowhere else have I ever seen these two, as well as a lot of other things happening during this season (and I’ve been to many places).
You might have realised that the seasons have changed. There’s two ways of looking at it; green leaves on trees have transitioned into yellow and bright orange ones on the pathway and long-bright Summer days have given way to shorter ones, OR, it gets dark too soon, the wind is intolerably twirling around my knees, and the lovely food in supermarkets has been replaced by funny looking vegetables.
My trick to check whether the (allegedly) summer has come to an end is by checking the fruit aisle in the supermarkets. If watermelons are still available, it's still summer. How do we test our hearts in different seasons of life? I appreciate watermelons may not work with this, but how do we ensure that our hearts are right with God? How do we reflect the heart of God in our relationships with one another, and with the world outside? The Bible has the answer to this (surprise, surprise). The Psalmist calls upon God for this (Psalm 26:2). Against what do we measure our walk with God? What’s our heart response to situations in different seasons of life? Do we decide to see the light of God that encompasses our lives, even in the midst of difficulties, or is our focus on the hardship? When all is as it should be, do we give God all the glory and honour?
Something else that the change of season brings is that life is back to its routine and there’s a sense of ‘going back to normal’. We don’t see the early church going back to, or settling for normal, and therefore we do not have an example to follow (which is great!). I’m glad that I’m part of a church and leadership that doesn’t settle for normal. The excitement around Alpha is one small indication of this. What a joy to be part of a family that doesn’t see Alpha as a costly inconvenience, but rather a wonderful opportunity to show love, compassion and friendship to the world, and a way of spreading the Gospel for the Kingdom of God. The other encouraging sign is different prayer meetings throughout the week; seeing people passionate for coming together to pray to the Father. Jubilee’s 18th birthday was another indication of God’s grace, and His Spirit upon all of us – 18 years of kingdom advance, 18 years of legacy for the next generation.
As we advance through different seasons of life, let us seek God in everything, asking him to search our heart. Let’s love one another, be excited for this adventure, pray for those running things (particularly those behind the scenes) and cheer for the prayer warriors. Let’s love Jesus, love His Church, and love people.
‘A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.’
As I think about 2018, one of my prayers is that we continue to be a people who are filled with the Holy Spirit and who draw ever closer to God through reading, understanding and putting into practice all He has revealed to us in the Bible.
It’s usually this time of year when people reflect on the past year, their successes and challenges, and everything else that comes with them. However, this article is not going to be that.