Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sundays through the Seasons

I think this blog has been a bit unbalanced lately... I do so love book reviewing and talking about books, but it might be time to bring in another type of post! Last year I decided to start a new devotional series called "Sundays through the Seasons" to replace the "Sundays by the Sea" posts. Unfortunately, I only wrote two posts before getting distracted by other things. So I'm going to try bringing those posts back - I hope they encourage you!

You've Got Hope

My family and I watched You've Got Mail the other night - a fitting movie for Valentine's week and the hope of spring. I love how the seasons are so prominent in the movie: from the beginning with the "bouquet of sharpened pencils" reference celebrating New York in the fall, to the Christmas festivities, and the lovely ending full of the sunny days and blooming flowers of spring. The Shop Around the Corner, the heroine's children's bookstore, gets re-decorated for each new holiday/season (reminds me of our house - my mom really enjoys decorating!). It so beautifully mirrors the changes in Kathleen Kelly and Joe Fox's relationship, as well as the loss and renewal of Kathleen's dreams for her life.

The symbolism of the seasons is full of hope. Circumstances won't stay the same. We won't stay the same. We can grow and learn and see things come to pass that we would never have dreamed for ourselves - but that eventually lead to greater blessings than we could ever have imagined.

The Director of College Ministries at our church shared a sermon this morning on the book of Haggai, emphasizing over and over again the idea that we need to "read to the end of the book." Many times in Scripture situations look bleak or tragic or hopeless, but they don't last forever. Our college director noted that he loves to open up to a place in Scripture and just start teaching from there - but then he wondered about books like Jeremiah. He said that there are spots where it would be really hard to share an "encouraging word." He realized, however, that if he just kept reading long enough, there would always be something encouraging to share.

There is hope. The story starts with the fall of mankind, but it ends with the stand of our Savior. The pages of our own stories are part of God's book - and there is a happily-ever-after, after all. =)

When we "read to the end of the book" (or "watch to the end of the movie," in this case) for You've Got Mail, we see that it all turns out so beautifully and poignantly. But it takes some time in the fall and the winter before the spring can come about the way that it does. There are lots of questions: Why did they have to be rivals? Why did Kathleen have to experience such sorrow because of Joe? Why did things have to change?

But aren't we glad that things did change, in the end? And aren't we glad at that last scene for all that they had been through together?

"Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass....

Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him....

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand."

~ Psalm 37:5, 7a, 23-24 ~

Whatever season you're currently in, if you are following God, "you've got hope." May the upcoming transition between winter and spring remind you of that hope that you have!

(DVD cover image from IMDb.com.)

4 comments:

May the K9 Spy (and KC Frantzen) said...

Love this, Amber.

So true. Our pastor years ago taught that the Greek for "hope" is elpis which is better rendered "confident expectation."

That does seem more fitting!

Excellent subject. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

(And I did so enjoy when he brought her the daisies... That was a delightful film. Did you see the one upon which it was based? That's a must-see also!)

Have a happy week!!

Amber S. said...

KC (and May!),

So glad you enjoyed the post! :) I love that note about the nuance of the Greek word - "confident expectation" is definitely a wonderful, fitting phrase! Hoping in the Lord isn't like wishing on a star... We can have confidence because of who He is and what He has already done. :)

As for the daisies, that is such a cute, sweet scene!! And I think I might possibly have seen The Shop Around the Corner a long time ago at my grandparents' house... If I did, though, it has been a while! Jimmy Stuart was a great actor. :)

Hope you have a happy week, as well, and thank you for visiting!

~Amber

Joyful said...

This is a beautiful post. I loved the movie and like how you wove it into the hope we find in the scriptures.

Amber S. said...

Joyful,

Thank you so much! I love the movie, as well - such a sweet, fun story of friendship, dreams, forgiveness, hope, etc. :)

And thank you for following the blog! It's a pleasure to "meet" you, and I hope you find this an encouraging place to visit! :)

~Amber