Sunday, December 5, 2010
Okay, I have to admit that I miss the seasons. Lakewood, California is not New England, but we do have some fall colors. There are several trees like the one above near our house. There is a very yellow tree showing off just a few blocks away. God's Fall paintbrush does touch Southern California modestly.
We never lived in heavy snow country, but I can remember spectacular snow storms that struck Christmas eve. Many nostalgic memories include picturesque snowfalls. Something romantic like a scene from a Christmas card forms good memories for a sentimentalist like me. Good Shepherd Chapel was our church plant in Neptune, NJ in the early 60s. We developed the popular tradition of a community Christmas eve service of Scripture readings, carols and brief sermon. It became the one time of the year that neighbors came to our little church, so we gave it our best. The most memorable of these services was the night we had a blizzard during the service. Cars couldn't get our of the parking lot. After singing "Silent Night" with candlelight at the conclusion of the service, we emerged from the church to see the silent snow covering everything in sight with its thick blanket. I remember helping push several cars out of the lot, and one car needed the help of a rope and horse who happened by when we needed him.
Of course this doesn't mean that we were better at worship that night, but it did leave a pleasant memory for everyone who pulled together through the combined beauty and ordeal of the blizzard, and worship was associated with that pleasant memory. Snow is also part of God's amazing handiwork.
I enjoyed the eastern springtime as well. The lively shade of green in new growth around us, the crocuses jumping up through the thin layer of late snow, all meant that the sharp colors of Azaleas were not long after. It was the long, hot, humid Summers that made me long to return to the left coast.