Thanksgiving! And look at what is happening. There is a pandemic, economic and political uncertainty. This could be one of the most scariest and stressful seasons of thanksgiving that we have had for quite a while.
But notice the word I used – season. Spring, summer, fall, winter. The annual cycle of seasons is predictable when almost everything else is unpredictable. This time of the year we see pumpkins in the field, the leaves changing colour, smell the apple cider, and scrape the first frost from our car. In a world that is constantly changing, the seasons remind us that there is a God who built a dependable rhythm into creation.
It will not matter who wins our municipal election, or when a provincial or federal election is called, or how the election will turn out in November for our neighbour to the south. Regardless of what happens, the leaves will still drop from the trees. The rains will get colder. The fires will have to be built in the furnaces and stoves. The winter tires will have to go onto cars.
The seasons show us that behind a chaotic world there is a God who rules over and brings order out of chaos. He has been doing so since the creation of the cosmos. While the kings and rulers of old marched with their armies across continents to build empires that only lasted for a while, the seasons continued to come and go just as they were designed to do.
In some ways the seasons are a bit boring. The evening news tells us the latest horrific headline. Our social media feeds light up with the most recent scandal or conspiracy theory. However, the barrage of noise makes us weary, anxious, and restless. It also makes us forget that in the morning the sun will rise and warm the earth with its rays. The birds will sing their songs as they look for food while the heavenly Father keeps his eye on every one of them.
In our quest for the recent update, the ongoing drama, and the newest bit of insider information, we have become numb to the wonder of the ordinary in nature around us. This nature declares the glory of God and shouts to us to stop and admire his handiwork.
As the sun rises and the dew coats the ground and the animals scurry with activity, I tend to think that God delights in every day equally and never grows tired of the ordinary. G.K. Chesteron said, “We have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.”
God did not have to create a world with so much beauty. He could have created in black and white with no variety. Instead he gave us turkey, pumpkins, squash, sweet potatoes, and apples for that apple pie. God made everything to show off his glory, but he also made us capable of sharing in his delight. He “richly provides us with everything to enjoy” (1 Tim 6:17).
May we enjoy this season as a gift. May the gifts point us to the giver of the gifts, and may we value the giver even more than the gifts. We most honour God when we enjoy his gifts as we are in relationship to him. “Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!” (2 Cor 9:15).