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A Lesson in Due Season

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A Lesson in Due Season

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My husband, Craig, and I attended Ambassador Bible Center in 2003. Since we're from Australia, it took a lot of effort to come—a year of saving money and squillions of U.S. Immigration Department forms to fill out. But our experience was worth all the trouble. We learned a lot—and not just about the Bible either! One of the things we learned was a small but special insight into God's plan that we could never have predicted we would learn—something that, if we weren't from the southern hemisphere, we'd have probably taken for granted all our lives.

If this hasn't already got you curious, let me add a little bit more background. We live in the city of Melbourne. It's famous for its "four seasons in a day" weather. Here, there is no clear demarcation between the seasons. Winter blends into spring, which merges into summer, which drifts into autumn (fall), which slides back into winter.

This is quite a contrast to our experience in Cincinnati. When the snow melted—wow! The leaves budded almost overnight. It seemed that within days the stark, bare trees were full with greenery. Our favorite word around that time was lush.

In Cincinnati, as with the rest of the northern hemisphere, Passover and Unleavened Bread occur during the springtime. But this is not the case in Melbourne, Australia. For us, late March to mid April is a pleasant time of year, but the leaves are yellow, red and brown. The weather is cooling down, not warming up.

So the spring in Cincinnati hit us with full force, and at the "wrong" time of year. However, according to the way God has arranged His Holy Days, it was really the right time! Knowing as we do that for ancient Israel, God's annual Holy Days were closely connected with the agricultural harvest seasons, the symbolism of this time of year became so obvious to us—resurrection, rejuvenation and the beginning of a new life in Jesus Christ.

As we witnessed the trees and flowers coming to life almost literally before our eyes, the meaning of Passover and Unleavened Bread also came to life in a new and exciting way. After a long and cold winter, the spring was a welcome change, giving us a renewed burst of energy.

Similarly, Passover and Unleavened Bread symbolize the death of our "old man" (Romans 6:6) and the zealous renewal of our commitment to God's way of life (1 Corinthians 5:7-8).

Like a scripture that's been read a thousand times before that suddenly jumps out in a new and unexpected way, we got a real buzz out of this extra little insight into how God has arranged His plan of salvation for us down to the finest details—even making the various Holy Days, with what they represent on a spiritual level, fall at the appropriate time of year. What a clever, wise God we have!

So whenever I consider whether our time at ABC was worth all the effort, I remember among everything else this little lesson, and I have no doubt about it.