I love this time of year. When the leaves begin to change and the vibrant yellows, oranges, and reds begin to dance with even the simplest breeze, I am reminded of all of the possibilities that come with a new season. I look forward to the fun parts of fall such as carving pumpkins, attending festivals, drinking apple cider, and watching football games, but I also look forward to the inspiration the new season offers as I become more contemplative and reflect on the changes in God’s creation all around us.
I recently read the quote above:
“The trees are about to show us how lovely it can be to let things go.”
Although I don’t know who to credit for the quote, it serves as a beautiful reminder of how healing it can be to move forward and release the things of the past. In Celebrate Recovery, we focus on this process by trusting Jesus, our higher power, to bring healing and wholeness to our lives. This starts with our choice to come out of denial and offer forgiveness to ourselves and others. Forgiveness is not always an easy thing to offer, but it is an exceptionally important part of our walk with Christ.
When we harbor unforgiveness, it produces the fruit of bitterness, hostility, and division, which only brings harm to ourselves and those around us. As members of the body of Christ, we are called to earnestly repent of our sin and seek to live in peace with one another, as we are reminded every time we celebrate Communion.
This is rooted in Paul’s epistle to the Romans:
“Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; 10love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. 11Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. 13Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers. 14Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
16Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. 17Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. 18If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” - Romans 12:9-18
When we harbor unforgiveness, it produces the fruit of bitterness, hostility, and division, which only brings harm to ourselves and those around us.
Paul’s challenge is not an easy one, but it is the path that brings forth the fruit of the Spirit. As the leaves change around us, may we remember how lovely it can be to let things go and live in peace with ourselves and others. God is with us in all things, including the process of forgiveness, healing, and growth.
Looking to join others who are on the path of intentional healing? Celebrate Recovery meets every Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. with a free meal beforehand at 5:45. These confidential groups are geared toward healing from all kinds of hurts, habits, and hang-ups, and are open to all people over the age of eighteen. Join us!
“May the Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” -Numbers 6:24-26