As winter approaches here in New Jersey, we are reminded that the life cycle of Nature requires a time of sleep and dormancy which allows it to endure the frigid temperatures and snow covered fields in order to experience its’ re-birth in the spring. The trees have dropped their leaves, the harvest is complete, and the grass stops growing.
We, too, in our human nature, tend to slow down a bit in winter, finding more time indoors. Books, television, music, and conversation with family and friends take a more prominent place in our daily routines, offering us the needed stimulus to adjust our lives to the indoors. And just like Nature, we need this time of rest, relaxation, and retreat to restore our minds and bodies to the fullest of our potential as we anticipate the gift of a renewed life once the spring thaw arrives.
And what a great time to experience two great celebrations. Thanksgiving and Christmas. A national holiday and a religious holy day. Two celebrations that embrace the gathering of family and friends to share love through meals and fellowship. To gather in giving thanks to God for the people and good things in our lives, and showing God our thanks and our love for the gift of our Savior, Jesus Christ, on Christmas Day.
In the spirit of these beautiful celebrations and the season in which they occur, let’s also show our love and thanks to those who have influenced us the most. Those who have fed us with life, nurtured us in our being, and filled us with love and faith – our elderly mothers and fathers, aunts and uncles, guardians and friends. Call them and visit with them, not just during these times of great celebration, but throughout the winter months ahead. We must realize that along with the season of winter, this season of rest and dormancy in nature, comes great isolation and depression for many. As the temperatures drop and the daylight hours shorten, they have less occasion to seek companionship and engage friends within their communities. Your reaching out to them will provide a great boost to their spirits. It can also assure that they remain in good health, are eating properly and well, and are staying warm within the comforts of their homes.
Your presence during these winter months can ignite the flame of hope that they and all of us need to anticipate the good things to come, the new life ahead, and the renewed spirit of relationships that will come in the spring as we celebrate the emergence of nature’s new life and our own lives with the Resurrection of Jesus at Easter.
So let’s all embrace the cold and darkness of winter together in a spirit of joy, renewal, and hope as we look to God and to His Nature to again restore the fullness of our lives when spring arrives. Late November through early April can certainly be a long 18 weeks for many of us. So let’s fill them with the light and warmth that comes from within us as we share our time and love with those who need us the most.
God bless you.