A Message From Pastor Doug

“What Summer is For”

When through the woods and forest glades I wander

and hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees;

When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur

and hear the brook or feel the gentle breeze;

Then sings my soul, my Savior God to thee,

how great thou art, how great thou art!

Then sings my soul, my Savior God to thee,

how great thou art,  how great thou art!

It feels like summer today as I write this article, with the cool spring we’ve had finally giving way to warmer temperatures.  Soon enough, you and I will probably long for some of those cooler days, when we are in the middle of those sweltering hot days to come.  Summer is just about here, with Memorial Day weekend offering the unofficial welcome of summer, before it gets here officially later in June.  For many, summer presents a hotter form of what we   experience throughout the year.  The summer is the busiest time for some of us.  Yet, for many, if not most of us, summer is the season we look forward to for the unique opportunity it offers for rest and renewal.  I know that for my family, after a summer full of moving and transition last year, we are looking forward to more normalcy this summer.

I can’t believe I just said “normalcy”!  What is that?  We all long for normalcy, don’t we, or whatever our “new normal” will be!  We long for the stability it will bring.  One thing we can count on, is that our Awesome God and our Lord Jesus are with us to shepherd us there … and want the upcoming summer to help us get there!

With Covid-19 restrictions being lifted more and more, week by week, this summer is going to be another summer unlike any before!  In the past, we have needed our summers to offer a break from our regular activity.  With Covid having restricted or prohibited many favorite activities, and with restrictions beginning to be significantly lifted, we may want to resume these activities . . . not get a break from them!  For example, fresh off of a wonderful Confirmation experience, our youth want to resume Youth Group again and sustain it through the summer, instead of taking the usual summer break.

Whatever your summer ahead holds, my hope and prayer is that you will find time and make time for those times away, those vacations, those breaks from the rigors of your weekly routines, and those quality times for rest and renewal that ALL of us need.  One of God’s great commands is to remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.  Sabbath is not only a day of the week.  It is also those periods of time we set aside for rest and for      remembering the blessings in our life.  In these blessings we remember God and God’s awesome activity in our lives, and it refreshes us and gives us the renewal and recharging that we need.  So please make time for those hikes through the woods to hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze.  Please make time for the Covid-safe lunches, dinners, and picnics with friends and family.  Make time for the favorite day trips, weekends away, or for a new adventure!  Please make time for the quiet times that you uniquely cherish, that allow you to look back and discern the new wisdom from days past that Jesus has for you to glean.  Arrange for those times that make it easier for you to also ponder your present and future and then dream of what God may have in store for you and yours going forward.

Any of this … and all this … IS WHAT SUMMER IS FOR!

It will lead to our own unique ways of remembering God’s majesty … and remembering Jesus by our sides, our footprints together in the sand.  It will lead you and me to our own unique times of awesome wonder, when sings our soul, “My Savior God, my Lord Jesus, how great thou art!  How great thou art!”

In Christ’s Love,

Pastor Doug