All Things Bright And Beautiful.
Genesis 1:31 God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 he has made everything suitable for its time; moreover, he put a sense of past and future into their minds.
Matthew 6:28 ….. Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin,
All things bright and beautiful,
All things great and small,
All things wise and wonderful:
The Lord God made them all.
Spring has come for us here in the Claybanks Community. The days are getting much longer, the coldness of winter has moderated to warming of the days. The grass has turned green, leaves have come out, flowers begin blooming, and the animals of God have made their presence more abundant, all under God’s plan for the beauty of the earth.
Each little flower that opens,
Each little bird that sings:
God made their glowing colors,
God made their tiny wings.
For Reba and I, summer is our favorite season of the year and our summer begins with Memorial Day Weekend. This change of seasons gives us an opportunity to reflect on the sense of the past and look into the future, to what the summer will bring, as Ecclesiastes in chapter three tells us.
As I was reading Scripture the other day and becoming distracted with my roaming thoughts, something hit me. When I went back to Scripture it became apparent about how significant the world around us is, that our Almighty God has created it for us, and how he wanted so much for us to enjoy what he had created. Sometimes it is the beauty of the earth, sometimes it is the warmth of the sun, sometimes it is the relationships that the current season provides us opportunities to be in.
The purple – headed mountains,
The river running by,
The sunset, and the morning
That brightens up the sky.
At Fennville/Pearl UMC Memorial Day was a day that we celebrated in community. Fennville had a Memorial Day Parade that went by the Fennville United Methodist Church and ended up at the cemetery just down the street where, annually, I was part of a Memorial Day Service where we recognize those who had made the ultimate sacrifice so that we could have the freedoms that we so closely cherish today. Following the service the community was invited back to the Fennville United Methodist Church for an ice cream social and hundreds of people gathered together and shared conversation around a bowl of ice cream with smiles and laughter. Following that day, I knew that summer would quickly be on its way into our lives. For Reba and I that meant attending the Annual Conference of the West Michigan United Methodist Church; this year to be held in Traverse City. Edie Bogart, Reba and I will be a part of the process as we continue to work to bring together the Detroit Conference and the West Michigan Conference into one Michigan Area Conference.
Now June is a special month in which Reba and I have birthdays, hers being before mine (which means if I do not do well then I do not do well) and as we count the years together in August we will also be able to celebrate our anniversary. These times help us reflect on not just the past times together but also give us opportunity to plan for future times together. Summer also gives us an opportunity every other year to have our grandchildren come to visit us along with their parents. And we look forward to sharing the beauty and the many different activities that we can avail ourselves of in Northern West Michigan this summer.
The cold wind in the winter,
The pleasant summer sun,
The ripe fruit in the garden,
God made them everyone.
Being close to Lake Michigan is a blessing for sailing during the day and sunsets at night as Reba and I are able to quickly get to the shores of Lake Michigan and take in many of God’s blessings as we sit by the shore and absorb the warm breezes and observe the passing of another day together as the sun sets over our beautiful Lake Michigan.
My list for summer can go on and on. Sunday drives in the afternoon in our sports car, cutting of grass, gardening, washing of cars, attending music concerts in parks throughout the different communities surrounding Claybanks. Visiting with family and friends, cookouts in the backyard or picnics in the park, tubing the many different beautiful rivers in our area, extended visits of family and friends are all of the many different glories that God has created for us.
For Claybanks United Methodist Church we have the opportunity to be invitational when many of the visitors to our shores come to worship with us. We are able to bless them with our church, our friendliness, our worship together and yes, our Strawberry Social when we invite those who live in and visit the Claybanks area to come and be together in community.
It is my prayer for you and for me, that we all take time during this summer to slow down and appreciate the beauty that God has created for us, and the relationships that God has given to his children as we come together.
God gave us eyes to see them,
And lips that we might tell
How great is God Almighty,
who has made all things well.
All Things Bright And Beautiful
Page 147 – The United Methodist Hymnal