Dearest Members of Bethlehem, “So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.” -1 Corinthians 3:7 As I make my way into this Tuesday morning I sense a shift. the unofficial beginning of summer has come and gone and we have entered a new season. For many, summer is a welcome season of respite. There are parties, picnics, trips, and adventures outdoors. After 2020 there are many who are eager to hit the road again, do a little exploration, and catch up with extended family. These moments of renewal, and the rhythm of summer will be a blessing. But amid the rest, relaxation, and smokey campfires… there is another important aspect of summer. This is a season of growth. Truthfully, we are talking about astounding rapid growth. I could pull all my dandelions one evening and have a half dozen more pop up by the next morning. How is that even possible? Soon farm stands will be overflowing with lettuce, tomatoes, and zucchini. Those who tend the soil will not see much rest. They will get up earlier and go to bed later. For those who know and love the land, this is a season of hope and opportunity. If God truly, “gives the growth,” we know that God’s energy and creative power are on full display in these months. And, I also think it is important to say this growth need not be limited to agricultural endeavors. The summer can be a season of rich spiritual growth as well. Typically we think of autumn as that time when we get back to Christian Education, or maybe Lent as that season when we take on some extra devotional material. But perhaps we could also consider our evening’s on the front porch, our casual conversations with neighbors, and our car rides to the ice cream stand as rich soil in which God’s goodness can be manifest. I pray you enjoy these blessed days of summer and relish in everything this season has to offer. May our spirits be filled and our gratitude abound as we enter into this new season. Question for reflection: What is your favorite summertime activity? Is there a way to connect that activity with your life of discipleship? This week at Bethlehem: On Saturday evening we will be offering our in-person Saturday evening worship service at 6:00. On Sunday morning we will offer in-person worship services at 8:00 and 9:30. Our 9:30 service will be live-streamed. Yours in Christ, Pastor Dan Let us pray…. Lord of mercy, may your forgiveness not only be a source of reconciliation and renewal, but also a source of inspiration as we hope our lives are a reflection of your goodness. We pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.
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