Sweet Time of Fall

Yes. Today is the start of Fall.

Fallen, Yet Favored
Fallen, Yet Favored

In the astronomical view, it is that time from the Autumnal Equinox until Winter Solstice. Only in the Northern Hemisphere. Drop below the equator and you move into Vernal Equinox (Spring). And the word Equinox essentially means that the daylight and night time hours are essentially equal. You know, 12 hours with the sun, and 12 hours without the sun.

To me, the equinox is midpoint between the solstice. Summer. Winter. The longest day of the year, and the shortest day of the year. I love the shortest more than the longest… Thank you for asking. That’s not to say I dislike long summer days! No! As long as the heat and humidity is tolerable… Just saying! 30 years in the Pacific Northwest (Alaska and Washington), I’ve grown used to very little heat and humidity.

In the traditional sense, the Fall is related to gathering in the crops. Harvest time. Storing up for winter, spring and summer. Until Harvest time next year. Then it starts all over!

Neighboring HorsesThink about a traditional Harvest for a moment. This is when we we normally enjoy the freshest food. Crops newly picked. Crisp. Firm. Sweet. This is the season of apples, and our 3 threes has produced a thousand apples. Some too small to do anything with, but some large enough to enjoy eating and cooking! The problem is getting them off the tree before my dogs eat all the low hanging fruit! And they love apples! So do the horses next door.  They neigh at me as the dogs and I are walking. A knife. A few apples. And I feed the 3 horses, 2 dogs, and me…Slices of Apples…

The fall is a sweet time as we reminisce about the summer, and buckle down for the winter storms. In my neck of the woods, the winter storms can be fierce, heavy with wind, rain, flooding, and mudslides. Spend as much time as possible in the great out of doors…Before the winter crowds you into the warm flames in the hearth.

“I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house.” [Notebook, Oct. 10, 1842]”  Nathaniel Hawthorne, The American Notebooks

The Hebrew New Year begins in the Fall. It’s not exactly lined up to the Autumnal Equinox, but within a week or so. Why might that be? I think that Fall represents the beginning of a new year. Crops loose their position in the field as they are stored away. The ground grows dormant. Cold. Short days. The root system of many trees continues to grow and expand deeper, looking for nourishment. And then the solstice, shortest day, and then the hope of spring, planting, summer, growth…winding up at the harvest to begin life over again.

The Bible teaches bringing your firstfruits to God. When does this happen agriculturally? In the Harvest season.

“Three times you shall keep a feast to Me in the year: You shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread (you shall eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded you, at the time appointed in the month of Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt; none shall appear before Me empty); and the Feast of Harvest, the firstfruits of your labors which you have sown in the field; and the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you have gathered in the fruit of your labors from the field. (Exodus 23:14-16 NKJV)

Some think they owe nothing to God, and yet there is nothing in scripture that forgives such a debt. He gave us his world, his life, his blood, his spirit, and his name. There is nothing I can do to repay, but I will give what I can…and scripture teaches me to give as I have been blessed. My tithes. My offerings. They are not suggestions. They are God’s law.

So…How about you? Are you giving God your first fruits? This is the season for it.

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