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Imagining the Lectionary: Seasons of Leadership  (Proper 25A; Ordinary 30A)

Reflection accompanying images: “The last rose of summer” and “The end of the last rose of summer

 As the autumn weather deteriorates a solitary pink flower is the last remembrance of summer on this rose. Insects still seek nourishment within it and raindrops glisten on its colourful petals. It is a pleasure to behold. And its time is limited and very soon will come to an end. 
Four days later and the inevitable has happened. What remains of the flower stands proud against the sky and the nature and purpose of its being is now apparent. All that it offered beyond itself to bring life elsewhere, its means of producing pollen, forms a dark speckled circle around its yellow centre, just below which we see the place within its own being in which that life from beyond has been welcomed and incorporated into seed for the future. The task was fulfilled for this pink rose and it could let go of its petals and finally, in time, fall into the earth.

Offering life into the world around and securing continuity of life for the future is what the rose does. And reflecting on these things leads me to think about seasons of leadership and the transition from Moses to Joshua which we witness in Deuteronomy 34. Having led the people on their epic journey out of slavery towards God's land of promise it becomes clear that Moses will not set foot in it himself.

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