I was away from my house for a few days earlier this week. When I returned home, the leaves on the trees were nearly gone.
I live just far enough from a busy highway that when the leaves are on the trees, I have to work to hear the trucks and motorcycles, but when the leaves are gone, I can’t help but notice the traffic noise from my backyard. And the leaves don’t just buffer the traffic noise; they also buffer the wind and give our yard a feeling of tranquility.
There are times in our lives when the leaves fall off the trees. For the most part, we do a good job of insulating ourselves from the noise of the world; but then, the weather turns cold and the wind blows.
At these moments, we are reminded of the fragile nature of our lives. What we worked to notice before is now stuck in our head.
One of the important things religion does is blows the leaves off our trees. Our faith pushes us into relationships with people we may not be comfortable with, it forces us to deal with questions of life and death, and it reminds us of our own inferiorities.
Christ’s ministry points us to the stranger; His death shows us His love and our failures; and His resurrection reminds us that God’s love will overcome all sin.