Thursday, June 28, 2007

Summer Newsletter

This is what I wrote for our summer newsletter.

I remember bits and pieces of a song that I learned in music class when I was still in public school. It was a piece from the opera Porgy and Bess, "Summertime" by George Gershwin and DuBose Heyward.
And the livin’ is easy
Fish are jumpin’
And the cotton is high

Your daddy’s rich
And your mamma’s good lookin’
So hush little baby
Don’t you cry.

You may have read the column I wrote for the InPort News a couple of weeks ago talking about what I like and don’t like about summer. I hope I didn’t give too much weight to the dislikes in that column. There’s a whole lot I like about summer and I can put up with most of the dislikes.

One of the big things I like about summer is mentioned in the first part of that song. Summertime, And the livin’ is easy.... I think that’s so true. Because almost everyone takes some time off during the summer for a vacation, things just seem to slow down a bit. The livin’ is easy. The hustle and bustle of daily life seem to calm down. Maybe because the running and chasing we seem to do so much of would make us too hot in the summer.

It’s good to slow down, even if it’s only once in a while. It’s good to take time to recharge you batteries and it’s probably best you do that before they run completely empty.

Jesus took time off too. In the Gospel according to Matthew, after Jesus spent a day in the midst of a great crowd curing their sick, and then feeding them all, more than 5,000 of them, he sent the disciples across the lake in their boat while he sent the people away to their homes. "And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray" (Mt 14:23). God even took some time off after creating the universe. "And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done" (Gen 2:2). Some get the mistaken impression that Jesus did away with Sabbath observance. He didn’t abolish it, he just wouldn’t abide by the nit-picking ways it was being observed that forbade even acts of mercy.

This summer, when "the livin’ is easy," let us all take some time to rest, to recharge our batteries, prevent rather than recover from burnout. And let prayer be a part of the nourishment and refreshment that we receive as we step back from the daily routine. After a long hard day Jesus took some alone time, some down time, and he prayed. And let us remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy. Who remembers Martin Luther’s explanation to this commandment from the Small Catechism? "We are to fear and love God, so that we do not despise God’s Word or preaching, but instead keep that Word holy and gladly hear and learn it."

May our summertime refreshment, in whatever form that may take, restore us in body, mind, soul, and spirit. And please don’t be a stranger from church.

1 comment:

Detail Boi said...

I wrote the lyrics to that song in an email to a friend on the first day of Summer... I think I do that pretty much every year. I remember learning it in Miss Wilkinsons class, probably the same place you did.

I wish I had more time off during the Summer; it's such a wonderful time of year. Whenever Summer comes around, I always seem to consider a career change, to teaching. But that would be the wrong reason to go into that career... lol.

Enjoy the season, and "don't, you cry".