Praise the God of creation who made us to be in relationship
Praise the Christ of love who calls us friends
Praise the Spirit of peace who enables us to live in unity. *
A hymn to sing or say:+
|For the beauty of the earth
for the beauty of the skies
for the love which from our birth
over and around us lies:
(chorus) Gracious God to you we raise
this our sacrifice of praise.
|For the beauty of each hour
Of the day and of the night
Hill and vale and tree and flower
Sun and moon and stars of light:
|For the joy of ear and eye,
For the heart and mind’s delight
For the mystic harmony
Linking sense to sound and sight:
|For the joy of human love,
Brother, sister, parent, child,
Friends on earth and friends above
Pleasures pure and undefiled:
|For each perfect gift and sign
Of your love so freely given,
Graces human and divine,
Flowers of earth and buds of heaven.
Midsummer – and as I write this a few days before, a mix of sunshine and showers is forecast for Peter Tavy. A fruitful summer needs both.
Jesus grew up among Mediterranean vineyards and used them to illustrate his teaching. The text on this banner (in Tavistock Methodist Church), opens chapter 15 of John’s gospel. Jesus went on to say his disciples, like branches of the vine, need his life in them: “No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” He also warned that God, as the wise gardener, improves that fruit by pruning. Later in the Bible, in a letter to the Galatian church (chapter 5), the apostle Paul used a similar image. “Live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature…… The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self- control.”
Let’s allow this unusual summer to be a time for both pruning and growth, so that God’s love for people and nature can bear fruit through our future words and actions.
A blessing to pray for ourselves and others:
May long summer days speak to you of God’s enduring light.
May bright summer flowers speak to you of God’s unending beauty.
May fresh summer fruits speak to you of God’s continuing kindness.
May warm summer nights speak to you of God’s enfolding comfort.
May early summer dawns speak to you of God’s renewing hope. *
– Prepared by Kit Harbottle, Methodist local preacher.
* Prayers by Revd Simon Taylor of Exeter, used with permission. Published in “Summer” www.ionabooks.com