Summer has arrived! The TT brought biking enthusiasts and the beginnings of the glorious weather we have experienced over the past few weeks. Of course, it is possible to have too much of a good thing and, whilst sun lovers have relished the heat, gardeners and farmers are lamenting the lack of rain….
The Bible contains many references to dry places, deserts, arid plains and waste lands. You might remember the passages from Exodus as Moses and the Israelites wandering in the Sinai desert for 40 years, or the battles between the Northern and Southern Kingdoms fought on the Plains of Jordan near the Dead Sea as well as Jesus’ ‘temptations’ in the wilderness. These dry areas are often considered to be places that mirror humanity’s abandonment of God, where little flourishes and disaster looms or where judgement is carried out. However, they can be places that burst into new life and become places of fertility and growth. The wonderful passage from Ezekiel 37 -the valley of Dry Bones-speaks of this life-giving renewal by God and, in the Gospels, Jesus speaks of himself as the ‘water of life’ (John 4 & 7).
In the Church calendar we have entered the season of Trinity, our liturgical colour is green and this season is sometimes thought of a time of spiritual growth as we explore the life and teachings of Jesus (this year mainly via Matthew’s Gospel). Even if these Bible passages are familiar to us we should be prepared to come to them with fresh eyes and openness of heart and mind to what we are yet learn from them. We must not ‘stand still’ nor ‘rest on our laurels’ as this leads to aridity of spirit, our faith becoming a dry as the desert. We need the frequent ‘watering’ of the wisdom and example of our Lord Jesus Christ.
As summer activities begin and many people go into holiday mode we must not be tempted to take a break from our worship and service to God. Enjoy all that the next few months have to offer but remember all the best things from God alone who deserves our praise at all times.