Back in 2009, the question was raised, "Could the problem with Sunday worship be that it begins out week?" The assumption I generally operate from is that Sunday is the start of the week. But, the question wonders, is it more reflective of a deep wisdom that Sunday should be considered as the culmination (the end) of the week?
Taking this idea of flipping my assumptions, it lead me to think about the seasons of the year.
While the calendar year ends in December, for reasons I cannot place my finger on, I have always put the "start" of life in the season of spring. In fact if I were allowed to remake the calendar, I would have shifted the start of the new calendar year with the first day of spring. Spring has new buds and new leaves and new life and it all feels like spring is the start of a new life. Conversely, winter signaled to me the "end". Cold and dark, it just made sense to me that winter is the end of life and spring is the beginning.
However, what if this ordering of the seasons misses a deep wisdom? What if we did not associate spring with the beginning of new life but we considered the season of fall?
If we think of fall as the "beginning" then we gain a good number of deep truths. First of all, we no longer would be so afraid of death and dying. Death and dying would be the "start" of a new life. And in fact, in the world of plants, death is the start of life. If death is seen as the start of our lives, then how would our minds change toward our care for the elderly?
After our new life begins in death (fall), the next step in life is germination (winter). This is the season of wondering what sort of new thing God is germinating in us. This season of germination would be the season of deep faith that God is doing something even if we cannot see it. It is the season of faith that there will be spring and summer after the dark season of winter. Additionally, Advent, the season around Christmas which focuses on God coming into the world, would take on a whole series of new meanings.
After the season of germination (winter) we begin to flower and see the beginning of this thing that God has been doing in our lives for the past six months. We no longer see flowers as the start of the process but as the half way point of what God is doing. We begin to see that these flowers are beautiful but temporal. Spring becomes the season that we rejoice that God is faithful to us because for six months we may not have seen much evidence of God's work in us when we began this process of new life.
Finally, we see the "fruit" of the past nine months of God working in and on us in the season of summer. The fruit is sweet and provides sustenance for us. We assess if we are producing good or not so good fruit. As we sit in the heat of summer, beaten down by the sun, we can only consider if the work that we have done with God the past year is fruit bearing. While we enjoy these fruits we understand that God is calling us into a new thing once more and we take that first step into new life by dying to our old life - the season of fall is upon us once more.