"I am the vine; you are the branches." — John 15:5

St. Helen’s Quiet Garden – Early Autumn Devotional 2021

The sweltering ‘heat waves’ of summer 2021 bid adieu and cooler temperatures, at least at night, prevail.  Signs of the changing season are plentiful. Notice them revealed in flora along the ichthys path of our Quiet Garden and elsewhere in the new autumn  accessories being sported by deciduous trees, the migration of Canadian geese winging their way southward and all creatures, great and small, preparing for winter’s onslaught.

Work, school, activities and in-person church services will resume, but all look different, even as we keep attentive to ongoing restrictions and concerns related to Covid 19.  Not everyone is vaccinated and even among those who are, variants take hold. We are, evidently, in a fourth wave of the pandemic.  Some things have changed forever and holding to what was once ‘normal’ may well limit our vision for the future. We are indeed in liminal times.

Take a few minutes to open yourself to God’s Presence in the Garden.  Walk the path slowly, several times around, or take advantage of a welcoming bench, as indeed many people in our neighbourhood are wont to do. (Exactly what we hoped for when the Garden was envisioned!) The restrictions and protocols, the unpredictability and constant stress of these past eighteen months have had a deep and lasting impact on many people and Covid fatigue is a real thing! The need to be empowered with a combination of peace and strength, in order to move forward, is great.

Pause in the midst of life’s uncertainties and busy-ness and let God soothe your soul. Then pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit that you may be equipped to explore what lies ahead.  To what might our Lord be inviting you this autumn?  To what ministries, to what new spiritual growth, to what commitment?  Know this:

“The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in parched places and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.”  Isaiah 58:11