While we Christians have jumped on the bandwagon for winter solstice celebrations (Christmas) and vernal equinox celebrations (Easter), we seemed to have left the summer solstice and the autumnal equinox alone. (A quick shout-out to Mr. Coe for going over all those terms in earth science.)
There’s no reason for us Christians to not make this upcoming summer/fall day one of our own: it’s another great way of thinking about how Christ should shape our lives. Just as summer is the season of abundance and fall is the season of decline (broadly speaking), the day should remind us of how Jesus Christ came in full flower – fully human and fully God – and allowed all that life to leave him, so that we might have life. It was Jesus, leaving the summer of his existence, welcoming weakness and ultimately death, who gave us new life through that choice.
For ourselves, that means we should be like John the Baptizer said: “He must now become later; I must become less.” The gifts that God gives us are meant to be shared, to point the way to God. As Christians, we should always be seeking to be less of ourselves and more of Christ.
So as we stand on the balance between summer and the fall, where is our internal equilibrium? Are we giving over to Christ the abundance that God first gave us, or our we denying the bounty of our gifts to others? If a tree holds on tightly to its fruit, it nourishes no one, not even itself. But what it lets fall away means life for another.