|Messiah Lutheran Church||
6201 W Patterson Av
Chicago IL 60634
It's September already! Can you believe it? Where did our summer go?
September brings to my mind being a student at Breton Downs Elementary School in my hometown of East Grand Rapids, Michigan and singing the song "Try to Remember" in Mrs. Lorch's music class, which begins with the following words:
"Try to remember the kind of September
When life was slow and ok, so mellow . . .
Try to remember the kind of Septemper
When no one wept except the willow . . ."
This song was written by Tom Jones more than 50 years ago for a musical called "The Fantasticks".
Since the events of 9/11, this song has seen a resurgence in popularity, as many people in our country find themselves looking back on innocent days gone by.
At times, we too may find ourselves looking back on innocent days gone by, when life seemed "slow and oh, so mellow" and "when no one wept except the willow", especially when our present seems anything but "slow and mellow" and our future seems bleak.
We give thanks to God for the pleasant past memories He has given us, such as those that have occurred during the month of September such as back to school days, the beginning of the football season, the cooler weather, the beauty of the Autumn leaves changing, etc.
However, since the fall of man, every thing in this fallen world has been tainted with sin and its consequences. Realistically, things were never been as "slow and mellow" as we may remember them to be. As one saying puts it, "The best things about the good old days is they're gone!"
For along with seeing friends and getting new clothes, back to school days also means back to doing homework and taking tests; the football season can lead to heartburn when our team underperforms on the field (especially if you happen to be a Lion fan like myself), the cooler weather brings an increase in the heating bill, and the changing of the autumn leaves serves to remind us that raking season is soon on the horizon.
Not that we don't appreciate the pleasant memories we have of the past and all that God has blessed us iwth and his brought us through, but as His forgiven people, we also have been given a future with hope!
As Jeremiah 29:11 says, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." And, because of Christ's sacrificial death on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins, we have the most hopeful future of all waiting for us in heaven. And, even in this anything but "slow and mellow" world we live in, Where the consequences of sin can cause us to weep, we have the assurance that God is working out all things for our good" (see Romans 8:28).
And, so we are able to put both the pleasant and not so pleasant memories of the past behind us,and strain towards what is ahead, pressing on toward the goa1 to win the prize for which God has called us heavenward in Christ Jesus". (see Philippians 3:13-14).
The song "Try to Remember" concludes with the words, "follow, follow,follow . . ." Similarly, we "follow, follow, follow . . ." our Savior wherever He may lead us.
For our mellowness (i.e. peace) is not based upon our outer circumstances, but is based on the inner peace we have been given in Jesus Christ. Our loving Savior leads and guides us throughout our life's journey. He will never leave us or forsake us (see Deuteronomy 31:6; Hebrews 13:5). He .isWithus always (see Matthew 28:20). We can be confident that He who began a good work in us will carry it onto to completion until the day of Christ Jesus (see Philippians 1:6).
And so, we "follow, follow, follow", as our Great Redeemer guides us through this barren land and lands us safe on Canaan's side (i.e. Heaven),and all our tears will be wiped away.
May the "Mellowness" (i.e. "Peace") of the Lord be with You during this "time of September" and always!
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