Summer is a time when many people will be on their holidays seeking relaxation and refreshment, possibly adventure! Some of this comes from the opportunity to be somewhere different, yet to still to encounter God. God is so often a God of surprises, and a different environment helps us to notice God. We believe that God is with us in all things, in all places, at all times. Yet we know what is said about familiarity, and maybe these special times of encountering God in different places in different ways are also an important part of our journey of faith and discipleship.
I remember being in church during the summer months and many a preacher picking the hymn 'Summer suns are glowing', and of course, on the Sunday in question it was nearly always damp! Yet that hymn goes onto say, 'Everything rejoices in the mellow rays, all earth's thousand voices swell the psalm of praise.' It is perhaps easier to praise God when the sun is shining brightly (even if some of us have found the recent heat a bit too much!). But what an opportunity it is for us to sing our praises and give thanks to God. And even if it rains, how many of us have heard the chorus of gardeners everywhere say, 'Oh, we really needed that rain!' So come rain or shine we have an opportunity to be thankful to God and to share in the delight of his creation, providing all that is needed.
The hymn 'Summer suns are glowing' talks also about our journey of faith. Verses three and four strike me particularly as they talk about God pouring out his radiance upon our blindness: 'and when clouds are drifting dark across our sky, then the veil uplifting, Father, be thou nigh.' 'Light of light, shine over us on our pilgrim way; go thou still before us to the endless day.'
God does indeed go before us and sheds light upon our path. So may we go ahead with confidence trusting in the God who accompanies us and guides us always. May the Holy Spirit guide our feet that we may walk in the ways of God, offering our thanks and praise all the day long.
Wishing you every blessing
All Saints Methodist Church
There is free parking in our car park behind the Church in Dorchester Crescent.