I have begun to think about summer as a time of hope. Summer brings a sense of unrestrained possibility. The days are longer, encouraging us to get out of bed and get busy with life, and then leaving us more time for evening enjoyment. We tend to take our vacations in the summer, creating a hopeful anticipation of what adventures could await. We slow down a bit, giving us time to rekindle the hope that we bury in the wintertime. We reconnect with God’s creation, feeling the freedom that the outdoors brings and feeling a renewed hopefulness about life.
Though summers are often busy in the church, with days full of planning, there is a sense of hopefulness about our faith life that comes this time of the year too. This is the time that we take to dream and imagine how our life together might be better. We slow down to read curricula, imagining what transformation might happen among our children and adults. We look at our calendars, feeling a sense that anything is possible for the program year. We take time to talk to one another to imagine what opportunities beckon – a process that can only take place once we have slowed down and made space for deep listening. Once we are in the midst of the program year, much of that hopeful anticipation fades because we are too busy executing our plans to dream up new ideas. But now, now is a time of simmering hope.
Our invitation is to let this hopefulness fill our beings. Our invitation is to drink in this hopefulness like a thirst that longs for quenching. Our invitation is to stoke this hope so that it might burn ever brighter, creating a slow burn that lasts us through the long winter months. This hopefulness is our summer gift from God, prodding us on to live our faith bigger, brighter, and bolder than ever.