Ah, summer! Now that Memorial Day has come and gone, now that daylight lingers for up to 12 hours, now that trees are leafy and lawns are green, now that gardens are planted and flowers in bloom — summer has arrived.
Perhaps you have already slipped into that summer-time mode of being. Eating lunch or dinner out on the deck. Spending time out on the lake. Hitting a few tennis balls around the court. Taking off for a road trip.
Each season has its own qualities, and we are cheating ourselves if we do not recognize in the turn of the seasons, and in each season of the year, the unique ways in which the Holy is present and active and available.
Summer provides a whole garden of opportunities to engage Creation in ways that, if we are open to them, provide glimpses of God’s presence and purpose. At the end of the six days of creation, even God took a day off and strolled in the garden.
When you go out on a vacation adventure to some far-away place, or when you go out into your back yard, think of this world as God’s great cathedral, more colorful than stained-glass windows, more spacious than Chartres, full of music and praise. If you need some imaginative help, read Psalm 8 or 19, or especially 104.
God’s presence is known indoors as well and can be recognized not only in the Grand Canyon or the Grand Tetons, but equally in Grand Central Station.
But perhaps the best way to experience summer-time spirituality is to get your hands into the soil. Whether you plant a large vegetable garden, or grow a few petunias in a pot on the porch, remember that you are participating in the great miracle of life and growth, providing food for the body and beauty for the soul. Reflecting on gardening is a way of reminding ourselves that we are not self-sufficient; we plant and water and nurture, but we create nothing. It is God’s hand that is open, giving all creation its food in due season. We also realize how dependent we are upon the resources of the earth, the soil and water and air that sustain all life-forms, and we remember our role as stewards of creation.
And, of course, your church will not take a vacation from worship. We will kick off the summer season by worshiping outdoors, at Jim & Jan Seeck’s pond, on June 17. And for the rest of summer we will continue to gather each Lord’s Day at 10:30 here in this beautiful sanctuary, with its Creation Window that opens our spirits to ponder the mystery of creation. We will join our voices in song and prayer, hear God’s Word, and be reminded that we are not in this world alone, but are deeply connected to each other.
The Blessings of Summer to you!