Nether Heyford Parish Church of St. Peter and St. Paul
On what is another wet and overcast day, it’s hard to believe that, as I write this, Midsummer’s Day is less than a week away, especially after all the rain we’ve had in recent days! I’m pleased to say, that despite the rain, plenty of cricket matches have been played in the Cricket World Cup, providing many hours of Test Match Special cricket commentary. For me, the soothing tones of the TMS commentators are a sure sign that summer is here, and a reminder of long summer holidays past, watching and listening to the cricket. Listening to snippets of cricket commentary has recently provided moments of rest and relaxation in what has been a busy few weeks. And there is more cricketing excitement to come as the culmination of World Cup is followed by the Ashes. With summer holidays looming, there is the chance of longer periods of rest and refreshment, and more TMS commentary!
Hopefully, the quieter days of the summer holidays also offer opportunities to experience more of God; in the brightness of blue skies and sunshine, in the warmth of the sun, and even in the refreshing summer rain. In praising our Creator God, the psalmist writes: ‘God is my King from the very start; he works salvation in the womb of the earth… With your finger you opened up springs and creeks, and dried up the wild floodwaters. You own the day, you own the night; you put stars and sun in place. You laid out the four corners of earth, shaped the seasons of summer and winter’ (Psalm 74:12, 15-17 – The Message). We know God through his works, through the things he has made, and here are a few suggestions of ways we might know God through the summer.
The summer is, for many of us, a time of holidays and exploration; visiting new
places, taking the scenic route, finding time to turn aside and satisfy our curiosities. And as Moses discovered at the burning bush, God is often encountered as we turn aside, as we explore the hidden nooks and crannies, and enjoy the open spaces of hills, forests and beaches. Summer is also a time to set aside our busy schedules, a time when the momentum of life slows, and we can find God in relaxation. We can set aside the pressure and busy-ness of work and school and find time to reflect and think. And as the Book of Genesis reminds us, God is the God of the Sabbath. Just as God rested on the seventh day, so he encourages us to rest. The summer holidays are great opportunities to stop and recharge our batteries.
I pray that this summer, you will indeed meet God; in curiosity and exploration, and in reflection, relaxation and rest.
Yours in Christ,
Stephen – 01327 344436