First Congregational Church of Kent e-Spire
Volume 2, Number 27
July 24 2021
Let’s talk about Summer, shall we? Truth be told, I’m not much of a fan of Summer. In fact, as a general rule, Summer is my least favorite season, coming in way behind Autumn, Spring, and Winter–in that order. And what’s more, this is antipathy to Summer is not a new thing, it is not simply a manifestation of the fact that I seem to be growing increasingly cranky as I grow older–I’ve always been strongly anti-Summer. And I suppose I am so for the same reason that many people seem not be very fond of Summer: Its just too darn hot. And just too darn humid. You know the sort of days I mean. The sort of days like most of the days this month. The days where it is so insufferably hot and so unbearably humid that you’re left wondering about which sins in particular God is punishing you for with this convenient little preview of what Hell might be like. I’ll tell you what, its the sort of season that apt to test your faith in a benevolent and providential deity, that’s what it is.
And then, after week after week of feeling like you’re walking into a hot, wet towel every time you go outside, you get a run of days like we’ve had for most of this week: Seasonably warm, but not too hot, with manageable humidity, and nights that actually cool off once the Sun goes down. And you start thinking to yourself, maybe Summer isn’t always so bad after all.
Now, there’s a theological point to all of this moaning about the summertime, and here it comes, right now: I sometimes think that Summer is sort of a meteorological metaphor for life. Sometimes, Summer just plain stinks. Its hot, its humid, its the sort of weather that just saps your strength, and just seems to make everything harder than it really should be–and when you’re in the middle of a run of really awful Summer weather, its seems like its going to go on forever. And life is like that too, sometimes, isn’t it? Sometimes life, much like the weather in July, just stinks. We go through times when we struggle with loss, or when we feel like we’ll be overwhelmed by our problems, when it feels like its just you against the world. And when you’re going through a time like that in your life, well, it can seem like its going to go on forever–just like the heat and humidity in July. Only the really terrible weather in July doesn’t last forever, does it? Sooner or later the heat and humidity break, and then you get a run of weather like we have right now, when suddenly things feel pretty good. And life is like that, too. It seems like you’re struggling for nothing, and that things are never going to be any better–until eventually, they do. The fact is, just as the heat and humidity of July are terrible, but won’t last forever, the same is true of the troubles we face in life. They’re awful when we have to deal with them, but eventually most of them run their course, and sooner or later, things get better. It’s hard to believe when you’re going through whatever you’re going through, of course, but its still true. Most things do eventually get better, or as the Psalmist put it in the Bible, “Weeping may spend the night, but joy comes in the morning.”
The Hymn of the Week
Our hymn of the week for this week is God, Whose Giving Knows No Ending. The hymn is a relatively new one, having been written by Robert L. Edwards in 1961. If you read the words carefully, you probably won’t be surprised to learn that Edwards wrote the hymn for a Hymn Society contest for new stewardship hymns, since that’s what the hymn is all about! Its a reminder that God has blessed us all with skills, abilities, talents, and a whole bunch of other gifts. And that God has not given us those gifts simply for our own personal enjoyment, but rather so that we can use them to a blessing to others.
Oh, and there’s on other little fun fact about this hymn: Robert J. Edwards was an ordained minister in our own United Church of Christ, and he spent most of his career serving churches right here in Connecticut!