As the heat of Summer fades, the fire of Jesus’ ministry is made complete in the beauty of Autumn. The golden leaves reflect His Kingship and, as they turn to red, His blood, which was shed for all mankind. The trees, standing tall and firm, remind us of the cross, the crimson leaves falling, like splashes of blood, to the ground below.
As Autumn takes hold, the winds come and the leaves fall faster, forming a red carpet to the place of sacrifice. The storm reaches its peak, the veil is torn! Then, at last, when there are no more leaves to fall, no more drops to drip… death. The cold, still quietness of the tomb; mourning; darkness upon us. The trees, like the empty cross, stand desolate. Only the evergreen holly, with its jagged leaves with needle sharp spikes and its scarlet berries, serves to remind us of the crown of thorns that remained, still covered with drops of His blood, after His body was taken down.
Then, as we reach that darkest moment, the shortest day, we understand what the holly is telling us – that all is not lost. The light will come back. Death has been overcome – Jesus lives! Signs appear, just buds, but full of the promise of new life! Hope returns as the days grow longer and warmer. Shoots push up through the earth, which has lain as cold and barren as the grave throughout the winter. Clusters of beautiful blossom appear, reminding us that we are the Bride of Christ, waiting for our husband, the King, to come and take us to the wedding banquet. The sun shines, the earth is warm, gentle breezes blow and the leaves rustle their praise, branches stretched Heavenwards, giving glory to the One who created them.
If even the trees can tell the story of our Saviour and give Him glory, how much more should we, His children, who are made in His likeness, bear witness to His life and glorify His name…?