Pastor's Letter - July
Grace and peace in the name of God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen!
With the summer comes a lot of opportunity to rest and relax for many people. Many of these people are, of course, your kids. I know many parents who laugh when they hear the words "summer break" because usually trying to find time to occupy your kids, take them to camps, and go on vacation make things different than the rest of the year. Of course, it's still often very busy.
I remember an episode of the Simpsons where Bart, the young, spiky haired boy, is told by his father Homer that, "son, when you grow up, you miss every summer!" I remember hearing about that and feeling pretty bummed.
Now I'm grown up, or at least a reasonable facsimile thereof. The summer is not the bummer that I expected, in part because of the light that is with us this time of year. I am writing this on what will be the longest day of the year, when the sun rose at its earliest time and will set at its latest. Part of the reason I love summer is because we get to be awash in that light.
This of course reminds me that Jesus says that he is the "light of the world." That light encourages us to be living in a Christlike manner in our lives. So while we might be looking forward to some recreation, we also know that our call to follow Christ does not end.
Later on in the year, we will go through the daylight savings changes and it will be dark at 5:00 or earlier. I personally loathe those days, but I am reminded in scripture that "the light was not overcome by darkness." Not only does that apply to the length of our days, but it applies to how God works in us as well. Sometimes we get frustrated and down about the darkness in this world. Even in trying to do good we confront it! But yet we know that God wants us to persevere.
Years ago I was reminded of this when the school shooting at Nickel Mines in Lancaster County happened. You probably remember the story of a troubled man who made the terrible decision to enter into an Amish school and shoot many of its students. It seemed very dark. It was very dark! Yet then the Amish community responded, they responded with forgiveness. Many were befuddled. This radical expression that came from their faith seemed alien to some. However, I choose to believe that it was only possible in understanding Christ's love.
Let us seek to understand this love and press on, whether it be day or night.