The Special Look, Smell, and Feel of Autumn...and of God's Grace: Few things enliven me more than a beautiful Autumn day.

This time of year I always find myself with an extra spring in my step, as though God has graciously gifted the gas tank of my energy levels with a robust top off. I also find myself taking more walks - ambling about in blissful contentment, relishing the pleasant introspection this season always seems to produce in me.

And the colors, my goodness, the colors!

It’s one thing to say the word ‘orange’ and know that it refers to a whiteboard marker. It’s another thing entirely to have over a hundred different shades of this color greet your eyes as you turn a corner with all the jubilation and daring of a toddler let lose on a double decker chocolate cake. There is a subtle yet intense pleasure to be found here - and I haven’t even brought up the reds and yellows yet. Nature at her most visually luxurious; as though God had designed this season solely as the optimum time for observing his glorious creation. Fall has a look all its own.

And the smells, my goodness, the smells!

Bonfires - as we all know - have a slightly better smell cast in 45 degree air rather than 75 degree air. Pumpkins and apples deserve the candles they sell so much of (and which I can’t seem to stop buying). But it’s the leaves themselves, that’s what takes the cake. The smell of millions of leaves scattered across every lawn and road and sidewalk and alleyway and forest path and windshield in sight. Fall has a smell all its own.

I could go on like this for a while (and I just might when I get home), but think everyone gets the picture: Pastor Zarling likes Fall. It has a look and a smell and a feel all its own.

And so do you.

For by God’s grace you have a look that looks a lot like Jesus’ righteousness in his eyes. You have a smell of complete perfection in his nostrils. You have a feel of unending love and mercy. And you have all of this through your Savior’s blood. All of us here at Good Shepherd’s are sinners - and often that truth is all too real for us. Yet, all of us are also forgiven children of God, who get to daily rejoice in his love. When God looks at us he sees Jesus. When he turns his face toward us, he smells Jesus atoning sacrifice. We look and we smell and we feel like our Savior, because we are covered in his perfect righteousness.

Few things enliven me more than a beautiful Autumn day.

Except for the Gospel, that is.

We thank Good Shepherd's pastor, Reverend Joshua Zarling, for this week's blog post.