The Revs. Smiths’ Message for July 5, 2020

With the arrival of some really lovely weather, and turning the calendar over to July, it really feels like summer is here.

If you’re a student, this year it doesn’t bring the usual relief of a break from school, and the holiday might not feel like much of a change.

If you’re a parent who has been balancing work and child care, it might feel like just two more months of the same old thing.

But we hope the nicer weather, and maybe some summer travel or recreational activities bring something of a change and a break for us all.

The word recreation, we might remember, offers us some help in what we might plan for and expect from a holiday season. “Re-creation” suggests being “remade”, “renewed”, even “reborn”, with all the connotations that brings to mind from Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus in John 3.

Two seated figures of Christ and Nicodemus at a small table illuminated by a single candle, with a boy standing behind them holding a book
Jesus Christ and Nicodemus” (between 1640 and 1650) by Dutch painter Matthias Stom (c. 1600–1652), from the collection of the Hessisches Landesmuseum Darmstadt, taken from the Wikimedia Commons.

A time of recreation then means not just packing in as many activities as we can, or rushing from one special activity to the next in a frantic desire to make the most of our time off. It means making it a time of renewal, of being restored in body, mind and spirit. It will mean including times of rest and reflection, time to take stock of ourselves and our relationships with family, friends and with God. It can mean taking the time to embrace the creation itself, and the wonder and beauty of this great gift God has given us.

Regardless of what your plans are this summer, we wish for you a time of true recreation. And that the end of summer might even bring us opportunities to return from our pandemic exile and draw closer to one another once again.

We live in hope.

Revs. Bob and Helen Smith

This message first appeared in the July 3, 2020, edition of Tidbits.