The heat of the summer is upon us, with a rise in humidity and number of mosquito bites! For many people, this is the time of year when vacations happen, when people grill out and attend numerous baseball, softball, soccer, and other games. Routines change as children adjust to having vacation time from school, parents adjust their grocery bills to accommodate for the increased demand for food in the refrigerator, and the infamous phrase “I am bored” can raise its ugly head. In the section concerning summer in the 2014 Sundays and Seasons, I found this excerpt intriguing and wanted to share it with you. “Summer often brings vacations, travels, and opportunities to step out of the busyness of our daily lives. We visit with family and friends, encounter new places and experiences, and enjoy rest and relaxation. Scripture tells us of many travelers and journeys. Abraham set off with a promise and little else. The Israelites began their forty-year trek with excitement but soon complained and grumbled when the way became difficult. Mary and Joseph had little control over their destination or departure date. The magi rerouted their trip after visiting Herod. Jesus and his disciples wandered through towns and countryside. Paul ventured out with zeal and purpose, finding welcome in some places and hostility in others.”
This is a prayer that all of can use because whatever place we are in, God is our ever present guide and companion. O God, our beginning and our end, you kept Abraham and Sarah in safety throughout the days of their pilgrimage. You led the children of Israel through the midst of the sea, and by a star you led the magi to the infant Jesus. Protect and guide us when we travel. Make our ways safe and our homecomings joyful, and bring us at last to our heavenly home, where you dwell in glory with our Lord Jesus Christ, and the life-giving Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
I conclude my thoughts this month with words from our Bishop -elect Abraham Allende, who was elected as bishop at our May Synod Assembly.
Pastor Matthew Groenke