The Pumpkin; A Sign of the Season
Among the many characteristics of the fall season is the appearance of the venerable pumpkin. Not only are they abundantly on display in grocery stores and roadside stands, products featuring this fruit are plentiful as well. The flavor of pumpkin is no longer savored in pies and cakes alone, but it can be found in coffees, teas, and creamers, pancakes, donuts, puddings, candies, cereals, and even tortilla chips!
On September first, wanting to make my favorite fall cookie, I checked in some local shops for canned pumpkin. Neither the cans nor any fresh-picked pumpkins were to be found. By October first they were everywhere! One could say that pumpkins are truly a sign of the season.
Over the last few years I have fallen in love with pumpkin English muffins. As soon as they appear on the market shelves I start buying them, sometimes two or three packages at a time. During the past month spent with my daughter and her family, I have easily purchased five to six dozen, pleasing the palette of my four-year-old granddaughter as well as my own. As usual, I will plan to buy several packs to freeze to insure we have them for the holidays, because these small baked wonders, along with the other pumpkin products presently occupying store shelves, will disappear just as suddenly as they appeared a few weeks ago. I have to take advantage of the opportunity to buy them while it exists.
Many believers perceive that in the world today, we are going through an unusual season. There are conflicts all around the globe, strange weather patterns and natural disasters, and political and personal unrest in various locales. As we look in God’s Word we may truly wonder if these are the signs and the “labor pains” that Jesus spoke of, indicative of the end times (see Matthew 24). There is certainly some merit to these thoughts, though the Bible is clear that only God the Father knows the day and hour that these events will occur. But, He also left us this word through Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:2-4 (ESV): “For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, ‘There is peace and security,’ then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief.”
The important point of the matter is this: whether the Lord’s return is tomorrow or a thousand years from now, these present-day struggles have opened up a wonderful opportunity to share the good news about Jesus with others. As people search for answers in the midst of these difficult times, we are compelled to share the love, compassion, peace, and saving grace that the Lord provides to each one who comes to Him. In 2 Timothy 4:2-5 (ESV), the apostle Paul writes these words: “I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His Kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”
There are many around us who are longing for answers to address tough situations. Jesus bids us to share the good news with them. The season is now and it may soon be gone; take advantage of the opportunity while it exists!
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