God of the seasons, we thank you for summer. You surround us with evidence of revival, eternal life, abundance, resurrection in every field, every garden, every flower bed, every forest, every vacation spot and swimming hole.
- The discovery in Nepal of a tiny but flourishing colony of birds – red-faced liocichla – thought to have been extinct there for the past 178 years
- The delight of finding perfectly-preserved, 99 million year old bird-like wings entombed in amber in Burma
- The first clear evidence that the thinning in the ozone layer above Antarctica is starting to heal
Amidst the delights of summer are our precious memories of childhood, our bygone days and delightful yesteryears. We dare to echo the hymn:
“All good gifts around us
are sent from heaven above!
Then thank the Lord
O thank the Lord
for all his Love.”
We acknowledge the gifts, we offer the thanks, we bask in the love.
- We give thanks for all who have mourned with Turkey, after this week’s suicide gun and bomb attack on Istanbul’s airport, that killed 41 and injured 239 more
- We give thanks for all who share in the dismay and horror, after Taliban bombers attacked an Afghan police convoy outside Kabul, killing 30 and wounding 50 more
- We give thanks for all who give to help the hungry, the homeless, the refugees; for all who band together to help one another in times of trial
- We give thanks that Colombia and FARC rebels have signed an historic ceasefire deal to end their 50-year conflict
Our delight is sharpened by our halting awareness that summer’s sorrows are equally real. The mysteries and vagaries of weather, the strength of agriculture, the upheavals of society, the cries of injustice, and the wounds of war threaten idyllic summer reverie.
- We pray for the 4.8 million South Sudanese facing severe food shortages
- We pray for the 24,000 who have fled Boko Haram to take refuge at a camp in Nigeria – only to find it a place stalked by death from starvation and related illnesses
- We pray for those unsettled by the passage of the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom, with its implications not only for that nation, but for the European Union
- We pray for the forests in California, U.S., where more than 26 million trees have succumbed to drought and pine beetles in the past six months, leaving wide swaths vulnerable to wildfire
Even the inequalities of summer’s gifts give us pause. For some there is no break, no bounty, no beach reading, no abundance of crops, no relief, no freedom, no rest, no peace.
As we enjoy this summer season, may our spirits be fertile ground for Your seeds to take root, so that we can grow in compassion, commitment, and deeds worthy of Your name.