Thursday, 3 July 2008

Summer Holydays

This was last weekend's "By the Way" bit for The Medicine Hat News.
I write this on the first day of Summer. The sun is shining, the grass is green, the gardens are filling out and the pin-cushion cacti are in bloom. My brother and his wife are visiting from New Zealand, I've been enjoying some holidays with them and there are more to come in August. I feel good!

A search for the word "summer" on the English Standard Version of The Bible website resulted in twenty-five hits. The very first, Genesis 8.22, assures us that "While the earth remains, …summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease." I'm glad of that. I like summer.

Nine of those hits, however, were about "summer fruit." That makes me think of fresh vegetables straight out of the garden and of sweet, juicy, fresh orchard fruit; the tastes and colours of summer.

It also brings to mind other fruit, no less sweet; of relationships growing into maturity on decks, at campsites and picnics, of summer weddings and time spent with family and friends. Long summer days provide a wonderful opportunity to grow such fruit.

Summer holidays are also a wonderful time to grow our relationship with Jesus by deciding to make them into holy-days as we give thanks and worship (give worth) to The One who makes it all possible. Although we may not be in church as often, summer gives us more time to sit in His presence, to read His Word, to enjoy the relationships with the loved ones and friends He has provided. This can be done anywhere: in the mountains, beside lakes and rivers, in back yards amid the smoke and good smells of summer barbecues. It's just a matter of remembering to include Him in what we're doing.

May your holidays be true holy-days rather than just a vacating your usual lives to go on vacation.