Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. [Mark 13:31]
It’s that time of year again. The days are growing darker, wetter, and colder. The leaves are gone, and all but a few of the flowers have failed. The gardens are gathered in and laid to rest for another season. The growing season is done, and now we all take a breath and wait for the snows we know are soon to come.
It is a gloomy and expectant time for many. The colour is gone, the world seems muted and depressed. And what comes next some face with a certain stoic dread. (Are you really ready for all the bundling and shoveling ahead?) It is natural in the dreary last days of autumn for us to wander into thoughts of death, dying and the ending of all things.
And how could such thoughts not be at least a little gloomy? Change often brings about sadness. But it doesn’t have to. Change can also bring about wonderful benefits! Sure the lazy, hazy, days of backyard barbeques and family picnics is over, but soon they will be replaced by glistening white mornings filled with a quiet awe. Soon there will be skiing, sledding, snowmen, skating, and hot chocolate by warm fires with those we love.
Similarly, in the month of November we Christians turn to the end of another church year. And with it comes the annual reminder that the days of this life and this world are measured and counted. That one day they will end. None of this will last forever. Some days as I look around at our sin-stained, dying, world I can’t help but think that this a good thing.
But instead of being saddened by the loss of what is, we look forward with bated breath for the glorious days to come. Days that will be ushered in with Christ’s return from heaven, when He comes to take us up to His home with the Father. Days glistening with wonder and awe. Days of rejoicing in the blessed company of those we love who have gone on before us. This is His unchanging promise in Holy Scripture. Though everything in this world will come to an end, this promise … indeed, all promises in Christ, will remain forever. For just as the Scriptures promised, even though Jesus died on the cross, it was not the end – but just the beginning of new and glorious days for those who follow where their Lord has trod. Yes the Word of the Lord will remain forever, and in Christ so will we. Without end.