I have just stood with Matt on the edge of the water, where the tide has just turned, and watched the sunset. I remarked to Matt how stunning it was. He said ‘but look at those grey lines’. And there, right in the midst of the most beautiful deep pink coloured cloud were grey streaks, indicating that somewhere in the distance it was raining. When we turned around to look at the light in the other direction, we saw a rainbow in the distance.
It has reminded me that whilst for some of us life might at the moment be filled with light and beauty, for others it is a place of darkness and uncertainty. The wondrous colours of the sunset were reflected on the water, which was incredibly still and calm. And I guess that what I have seen this evening is a reflection of what our lives are like. We do have times when we experience the most amazing joy and happiness. Today, Dave and Elaine were married here at church. For them and their family and friends it was a day of love and tenderness, where the world seemed bright and full of colour, a day of laughter and joy. For others, it would have been just another ordinary day, with nothing out of the ordinary to report. A day where all was calm. Yet for others, it has been a day where they are coping with news that they really did not want to hear.
When someone said to me, ‘have a good break’, I knew that I would, because this is a place where I feel God very close and where I glimpse God in the beauty of creation. And it is where I have come to know that God is with us always, not just in those moments of incredible happiness and joy, but also in the everyday and the mundane, and even more so in those moments of darkness and uncertainty, it’s just that we don’t always see it.
Having a break over the summer provides the time and the space to glimpse God. It provides the opportunity to spend precious time with family and friends. It’s a good time for strengthening relationships. And that’s what God wants for us, to be in relationship with each other and to be in relationship with God. By the time you read this it will be September and the kids and their teachers will be getting ready to go back to school for the start of a new academic year. Some people will be beginning new things in new places. September can be a time of uncertainty and anxiety after the freedom of the summer. But remember, God journeys with you into those new beginnings, and those new situations, and God journeys with you in the mundane.
Peace within by St. Therèse of Lisieux and St. Theresa of Avila
May today there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you
May you be confident knowing you are a child of God.
Let this presence settle into your bones,
and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.
It is there for each and every one of us. Amen
For Times of Transition by Joseph P. Shadle
God of Love, You are with us in every transition and change.
As we enter into this new era with excitement and even some anxiety,
we recall your deep compassion, presence, and abounding love.
We thank you for the gifts, talents and skills with which you have blessed us.
We thank you for the experiences that have brought us to this moment.
We thank you for the work of others that gives breadth and depth to our own work.
Be with us as we move forward, rejoicing with you and supporting one another.
We ask this in your Holy Name. Amen.