Fruitful in a New Season
By Martin Hodson, BUS General Director
Last year we were wondering what the ‘new normal’ would be. It’s more common now to hear people talking about the ‘new different’. The experience of ‘normal’ still feels a long way off, but some ‘differents’ are getting embedded; some of the most obvious are hybrid working or wearing face-coverings in public spaces.
We had better not overstate the differences we are experiencing. These are of course incomparable to the political change that is causing so much threat, danger and fear in Afghanistan, or to the climate change that has been causing chaotic and lethal over-heating in many countries this summer.
I am increasingly thinking of the post pandemic change we are facing as the start of the next season. God has built into nature a pattern of seasons and in many ways that is reflected in society. As we move from one season to another we find new beauty and new challenges. For example, as we enter autumn the possibility of growing new plants in the garden is limited, but the opportunity to harvest the quiet growth of that last season is just emerging.
Psalm 1 reminds us that the person who walks closely with God ‘yields their fruit in season’. This surely applies to every season, because he is the God who is with us at all times. As Paul says in 2 Corinthians 9: ‘God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.’
So if we are entering a ‘new different’, the question for disciples of Jesus is, how can we live in this season with fruitfulness? What have we planted that is now ready for harvest? What possibilities do the new conditions open up for faithful living that were not here before? Or how has the change in season changed us to offer ourselves in new ways to the service of Jesus?