A September Devotional

A September Devotional

Bernie Van de Walle

When you think about it, September is a strange month; in fact, it is a month of contradictions. On the one hand, it is a month of endings; harvest is underway in earnest and summer holidays come to a screeching halt. It is a month where so many things draw to a close. On the other hand, it is a time of beginnings. School is back in session, people often find themselves in new places of work. In my experience, no other month—not even January—rivals September when it comes to beginnings. Even though the liturgical year begins in November, practically, the church year really kicks off in September.

Well, here we are in September but this is not your average September. The events of the past 6 months have set this September, this start of the church year, apart. Instead of a September that sees us more or less following the patterns of Septembers past, this September finds us, more or less, in a state that can accurately be called chaotic. We know we are supposed to be starting new things but we are less sure about what those things are to look like. Everything—from permissible group sizes to appropriate health precautions—seems to be in a state of constant and, seemingly, random change: that is, we are living in a time of chaos! The opening lines of Scripture, however, speak to us in this chaos, things that ought to give us some level of encouragement in these stern and strange days. First, our God is well-acquainted with new beginnings, even beginnings that are, truly, unprecedented. God is the one who, in fact, conceived the very idea of beginnings. Thomas Aquinas called this God the “Prime Mover,” the one who was, Himself, the beginning and the source of beginnings. Second, Genesis reminds us that God took what was chaotic and created something that is not only good, it is “very good.” While things today are chaotic, God is able to make of it what He wants, what he desires, . . . even what He loves. Chaos may be your situation; it need not, however, be your destination.  

During these chaotic days, be comforted and be encouraged remembering that God, your God, the God who loves you, has invited you to walk with Him as he creates new beginnings and makes the chaotic a literal Garden of Eden.