It’s Summer! I’m not sure how those of us who are not in school or teachers still consider the summer as time for “vacation” or “time off” because we still go to work every day. And yet, we do think of the summer as a time to rest, reset, and recharge. It’s the season to go to the water, play at the beach, get outside and explore. The days stretch to endless hours and we can sit outside until late in the evening and still have light to see. Even now, I’m writing this as I sit on my back porch and marvel at the cool breeze after the too hot afternoon and watching my dogs haplessly and hopelessly chase lightening bugs. It’s a beautiful season, even if the heat makes you want to take long afternoon naps.
Let’s be intentional about relaxing and enjoying the summer. Take some time for yourself. Take some time for your family and friends. Give some extra time to the Lord. Biblically, the summer is known as the “growing season”. How can you grow in and with the Lord this summer? What might that look like? We’re going to try to take things easy around here. I’m going to spend more time with the Lord and people in our community and less time in my office. I’m searching God’s heart for this new season of growth. As we continue to pur- sue of a year of transformed living by seeking deeper intimacy with Christ, what does summer rest and relationship look like? We’re going to ease back on the church schedule a bit – youth will meet as usual, but there will be no adult study groups, committees will meet by email. But that’s not to say that we won’t call and plan to spend time together. Let’s go to coffee, have lunch, see a movie, and/or spend time on the porch and admire my chimenea.
Take time to breathe deeply. Exhale slowly. Delight in the simple things.
Right now, in our denomination, there is a lot of angst. I can honestly tell you that no one knows what lies in store for United Methodist Church – except the Lord. Letting go of our angst and anger will be an important part of finding peace this sum mer. I love the United Methodist Church, with all her flaws and imperfections. There is so much beauty there, so much hope and power in the Holy Spirit. Starting June 23, I will begin a sermon series about John Wesley’s Three General Rules that form part of the foundation of our discipline. These rules are:
Do no harm.
Stay in love with God.
Three simple rules that can and will transform our hearts, lives, and communities if we make them our mindset. We’ll explore what John Wesley meant by these rules. We’ll talk about how honoring these rules can bring us into closer relationship with God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Abiding in these rules offers the invitation to live simply and in an abundance of God’s grace for ourselves and others.
So, bring on the summer. Come casual to church before you head out on your Sunday adventures. Spend quality time with the people you love, starting with the Lord.
Grace and Peace,