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Celebrate the new season
Ashley Morris Clergy
The Rev. Ashley Morris

As I walked out of my home Wednesday morning, I was met with the crisp, cool autumn air.

I breathed in deeply, noting the official beginning of a new season. The calendar confirmed that Sept. 23 was the first day of fall as well as Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), when our Jewish brothers and sisters solemnly look inwardly in reflection and repentance. In that moment, I, too, reflected on the year — the ups and the downs, the victories and the defeats, the times of joy and sorrow. However, somewhere deep down, even in my reflection, I felt a sense of anticipation. Many people excitedly wait for fall because it serves as the beginning of football season, season premieres of favorite TV shows and specialty Starbucks beverages, but I love fall because it signifies the reaping of a fresh harvest.

One of my mother’s favorite sayings is, “You reap what you sow.” And when most of us think about this system of sowing and reaping, we almost instinctively think of the negative aspect of the concept — consequences for sinful, foolish or ignorant actions. However, while that is one part of reaping, there is also another, positive, side to reaping. There is a promise of a blessing for sowing good seeds and enduring through tough times: “… so those who planted their crops in despair will shout hurrahs at the harvest, so those who went off with heavy hearts will come home laughing, with armloads of blessing” (Psalm 126:5-6, The Message). This Scripture represents a great promise from God assuring us that it will end well — that as we endure the sorrows, calamities and vicissitudes of life, there is seed-ness in our tears, despair and prayers leading to an abundant harvest of joy. With many of the horrible acts that plague our country and communities on a daily basis, we often find ourselves crying tears. Some have cried tears of repentance for the sins of ourselves and others. Some have cried tears of empathy and sympathy for victims faced to deal with the aftermath of difficult moments. And some have cried tears of travail for God to move on behalf of his people.

In all of these things, no matter what the days and months leading to today brought, we have an assurance that God is with us. And much like walking outside to a cool morning breeze and realizing summer has gone and fall has entered, we must shift our spirits into a new place in God.

In this season, God will bring comfort to those who have been down in spirit. He will bring peace to those who have faced continuous turmoil. He will heal those who have been afflicted. He will pardon those who have transgressed. The good element about God is that when we sow seeds in faith, he will supply our needs. He is faithful enough to provide a harvest that will exceed our expectations.

Morris is a member of the United Ministerial Alliance of Liberty County.

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