Summertime is upon us! I absolutely love summer! The warmer weather, the beautiful flowers, all of creation coming to bloom. We enter the growing season, watching the crops from their tiny fledgling states as they grow, it seems, daily. I’ve been told – but have not yet experienced it – that, if the conditions are just right, you can hear the corn grow!
This summer season is exciting, fast paced, and full of life! Students are on summer break (and, it seems, congregations are on break as well). At the same time, we still have hardship and heartache in the world. This past weekend, we remembered the two-year anniversary of the Charleston Massacre, where Dylan Roof shot nine people after bible study.
There are terror attacks near and far with senseless loss and grieving anger. As individuals, and as communities, we experience loss and grieving as tragedy burdens our hearts. And while the world continues to turn, we are reminded far too often that sin and evil are still at work in the world – turning us against each other, and attempting to turn us from our trust in God.
As creation comes into bloom, we experience the life-giving action of the word of God – continually speaking into existence that which did not exist. We also see pain, hurting, and death. We must cling to Christ and our trust in him who promised us resurrection. The one and only thing needed for a resurrection is a death, and that is what we hold to for hope in moments of pain and loss.
The Christian life can be, and often is, joyous and rewarding. Yet we also find ourselves surrounded by chaos and crisis. Our hope is a true hope in Christ, even when we don’t believe it; for the Holy Spirit works in and through us, and in our brokenness, continually calls us through the Gospel. The cruciform life knows the cross and the promise of the resurrection. Our Christian heritage helps to inform us on this journey, as does our own story and the story of others as they have experienced God. We turn to the Scriptures and the Confessional writings to make sense of the gifts we have been given.
As we rise each day, let us give thanks and praise to the one who created, redeemed, and continually sustains us with each breath of life.