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It’s always autumn in heaven

November 13, 2011

I spent most of yesterday raking and bagging leaves, so I found myself thinking quite a bit about trees and leaves and heaven…

I once heard that the reason leaves turn brilliant colors in the fall is because the chlorophyll in the plant cells, which gives the leaves their green color, dies.  Chlorophyll is what makes it possible for plants to turn sunlight and water into life-giving nutrients.  I suppose the chlorophyll only lasts as long as the sunlight provides enough energy for this food-making process, so when the chlorophyll has completed its job in the fall, it dies off.  So the colors we are seeing are the “true” colors given to leaves; in the spring and summer, these colors are masked by the green chlorophyll.  It’s like God made this brilliant display of color, but He hides it for most of the year to give us the anticipation of an awe-inspiring fall display.

So then I thought about a few things I know about heaven:  First, we know that there are trees there.  Revelation 22:2 tells us that “on either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.”  That verse contains a second thing I know about heaven: There must be some way of marking the passage of time if the tree yields fruit every month; therefore, there must be seasons in heaven.  Third, we know that heaven “has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb” (Rev. 21:23).  No sun means no need for chlorophyll in those leaves.  No chlorophyll means the leaves are always their “true” color: brilliant shades of red, yellow, and orange.

Therefore, I can only conclude that it is always autumn in heaven.  And this makes me utterly happy, because autumn is my favorite season.

Of course, chances are good that when we get to heaven and see those trees, it will look nothing like the trees we know here on earth, but our response will be a knowing nod and “Oh… now that’s a tree.”

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