mainestewards

June 20, 2011

Summer Belongs to You!

Filed under: Financial Commitment,Lectionary,Legacy,Time and Talent — by Lisa Meeder Turnbull @ 6:03 pm

Phew! We made it. Another liturgical year has brought us to the Season After Pentecost, Ordinary Time, that long green season when we are freed of the busyness of getting ready for the next big thing.

In the three years that I lived outside of regular worship, I missed the liturgical seasons. I missed the structure and rhythm that Advent, Christmastide, Epiphany, Lent, Eastertide, and Pentecost gave to our family and spiritual life. Having now lived anew in a full cycle, however, I understand better something that read the other week about a Benedictine abbey. The author described the nuns as “exhausted,” especially those with responsibilities in the sacristy and the musicians. She noted that as much as they loved the office, there was a freedom, a relaxation, a particular type of Sabbath that came with Ordinary Time.

I agree. I love the seasons, the progression of our faith story from birth to death to resurrection. But I also love the example that Jesus gives us in the lectionary for this time: We see him just spending time with people. When he teaches, it is in homes, outdoors, in small groups, in families, in intimate settings with his disciples and closest followers. He tells stories, he meets people where they are, nudging them to think in new and challenging ways.

I can’t help but believe that Jesus would love summer in Maine. He would love it that so many of our congregations celebrate the arrival of summer residents in their communities, enjoy their company, and bless them on their way in September, taking time to be sure we have their winter addresses. Jesus would smile as generations commit portions of their reunion time to marriages, baptisms, and memorials.

I suspect that Jesus would also remind us that summer invites us to add dimension in how we share in the apostles teaching, the fellowship, and the breaking of the bread—the first of our baptismal vows. What better time to be intentional about sharing our core values as individuals and families, for engaging generations in conversations around the many expressions that give our lives meaning? What better time to get to know one another in new and engaging ways—even close family members find new appreciation and insight when they take time to talk about their hopes, dreams, values, beliefs, and…yes… money.

To borrow from one of my family’s favorite cartoon series, summer belongs to you! What will you do to make it amazing?

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