July~August 2017

Post date: Jun 28, 2017 3:44:41 PM

“Don’t plant anything until Mother’s Day. Don’t give up on anything until Father’s Day.” That was wise advice to me recently from one of our members here at First Lutheran.

There is a sage plant in our back yard, right up against the house and deck. It has been there since we moved here in 2003. It has become quite large, except that this year most of it died during our long, cold winter. I clipped off a lot of dead stuff. I was just going to dig it out, except then some green branches started appearing at the front of the bush. Right now there are beautiful little purple flowers on the green branches, so I decided to let it be. Plus we have a dog that likes to dig craters in any new bare patch of dirt.

We also have quite a few roses in the yard that looked really dead after winter. Eventually I had to prune off the dead wood almost back to ground level. Finally in the first or even second week of June, little reddish-green sprouts started up from the roots. It seemed like a little resurrection. New life emerged from what looked quite dead.

Throughout July, August, September and October we are in the long green, Sundays after Pentecost season of the church year. The altar paraments and banners are green to remind us that this is the growing season in our faith and church year, just like it is the growing season for nature and farmers and gardeners alike. On Sundays we focus in on the teachings of Jesus from the Gospels of Matthew and John and we chew on the Book of Romans as our second reading for most of the summer. Romans: now there is a real “meat and potatoes” book of the Bible. Paul’s letter to the Romans was certainly a pivotal book for understanding God’s saving grace for us and justification by faith for Martin Luther and other reformers of the church throughout the ages. We recently had Romans 5:6 on Father’s Day. “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly….But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us” This is great and saving good news for sinners like me and you!

I pray that you will keep green and growing in the Spirit this summer. Remember that growth in the Spirit also requires rest. So I pray that you will also have some time for rest and relaxation this summer.

Serving God and neighbor together with you,

Pastor Dennis