Sunday, 29 November -0001 18:42

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Written by Peter Langbroek
How many of you have read or heard this poem?

NovemberÉby Elizabeth Coatsworth
November comes
And November goes,
With the last red berries
And the first white snows

With night coming early
And dawn coming late,
And ice in the bucket
And frost by the gate.

The fires burn
And the kettles sing,
And earth sinks to rest
Until next spring.

Many such poems sing and speak (as all good poems do), in the finest words, the mystery and speech of autumn. For good reason, autumn is the speech of GodÕs glory. The Lord, through nature, preaches little sermons to us. We must stop to listen to them.

But not everyone likes fall. Fall speaks of death; plant life browns; birds fly away; leaves fall; and frost finally kills whatever flowers have managed to survive. Many animals have ways or find places to protect themselves from the cold. We too, must bundle ourselves before we go outside. Unprotected from the cold, we would die within hours.

Yes, in autumn things die, but if thatÕs all we see weÕre not looking closely enough. Examine, if you can, two things: the corn stalk and the spiderÕs egg sac.

Try, if you can, to get a corn stalk or an ear of corn. Count how many cobs a stalk has. Then, count all the kernels. A lot of kernels, right? Now, how many seeds did it take to grow the stalk? YouÕre right: one seed! Well then, if it takes one seed to grow one stalk of corn, why did the Lord cause the stalk to grow so many extra seeds? You may have different answers, like ÒIt needs to give more seed just in case one doesnÕt grow into another plant.Ó Or, Òthe extra seeds are meant for our cows in the barn or the field mouse, or us, if it is ÔpeopleÕ corn.Ó

You see, each kernel holds GodÕs promise that new life will come. It is a promise that has multiplied in our countryÕs cornfields.

Next, if you can, look for a spiderÕs egg sac. You may find one under a rafter, a picnic table, or behind the barn door. Wait until next spring to watch a great acrobatic show! When a female spider senses cold by late summer, she resolves to lay a large egg sac. She lays it in a protected place. She treats it as her greatest treasure. That egg sac saps all her energy, and by late fall she dies. But what happens in the spring, when heat warms the egg sac? Tiny spiders break through! Like many tiny ÔTarzansÕ they swing from their self-made webs into a brave new world! The mother spider is replaced by many other ones. In the fall and winter the tiny spiders grow in the egg sac, waiting as it were, for the spring to come.

What we are doing, boys and girls, is that we are observing the signs and promises of life to come. The corn and spider egg sac promise abundant life while things are dying.

We can be sure that spring will come because God promised Noah, his family, his descendants (and that means you and I), and every living creature on the earth: I will not again curse the ground any more for manÕs sake; for the imagination of manÕs heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more everything living, as I have done. While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease (Genesis 8:21,22).

Children, God has been faithful to this promise for hundreds of years. We must and we do read the signs of nature. God also tells us to read the signs of ChristÕs coming, because His coming will break the seasonsÕ cycles. His coming is what all GodÕs saints, the seeds of His promise, wait and hope for. Like autumn, death surrounds us, but God promises: Behold, I make all things new (Revelation 21:5).

Boys and girls, if GodÕs words to Noah have been true and faithful (and they have been), then how true and faithful is the abundant life He has promised you through Jesus Christ. ItÕs a promise God calls you to receive (see John 1:10-13).

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