Pastoral Pearls: Every summer has a story...
June always makes me feel that summertime is finally real. It brings a newness with it – a sense of possibility – a feeling of really being alive! What a wonderful extension of our call to be joyous and active “Easter People” – people of the resurrection!
Jesus, through his gift of new life shows himself to me in all kinds of new ways during summer – in smiles and laughter of children riding bikes, playing on playgrounds, cavorting in the lake or pool, in the simple joys of grilled burgers and hotdogs, delectable watermelon and drippy ice cream, singing around campfires and enjoying sticky s’mores.
It is so easy for me to see the face of Jesus in happy faces, warm sunshine, the hope and joy and freedom that is so tangible. I feel God’s presence so warmly when I am hiking through the green forests, chattering squirrels, melodious birds and sweet flowers that God has so graciously created for me – and everyone else or when I am paddleboarding through changing waters of the lake, with God’s inspired melodies dancing in my head. How joyous summer can be!
Since “every summer has a story,” I am called by Jesus himself to try to bring this new life and all of it’s God-given possibilities and surprises to all the summertime people God puts in my path. I would like to bring the story of God’s Love to life for people. Maybe I need to look more carefully to find those people finding it more difficult to join in the joy of summertime, for whatever reason. Maybe they only watch the fun and dream or remember. How can I help them join in? Or how can I bring that sense of wonder and awe, of hope and possibility to them in some other more appropriate way if need be?
One thing is for sure – I can trust God to show me the ways (if I listen intently) that I can still bring the warmth and joy of summertime and God’s love to each person. I am so lucky and blessed that I can always count on God’s help, so I don’t have to figure things out all be myself. This will create my summer story. What will your summer story be?
Loving God, please guide me in how to create a summer story that would serve you and your people.
Help me to use the gifts you’ve given me to create a story of joy and love, of possibility and hope, to each person I encounter.
Keep prodding me to look for those have more trouble finding the New Life of Summertime in their lives, and be inspired as to how to help them find this New Life.
Thank you for the gift of Summertime.
May I rise to the responsibility (and fun) of truly acting as one of your Easter People.