The Dangerous Beauty of Summer

“If then you have been raised up with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”  (Col. 3:1-2), RSV)

The beauty and the wonder of hot weather has arrived. My garden is climbing out of the soil. The little girls next door are playing in their new pool. The forest behind our house has leafed out and now almost completely obscures the homes 200 yards behind. After two and half years of the pandemic, people are excited about summer’s potential. Schedules will be different this summer.

Different, and perhaps, dangerous, to the soul.

“Every Season is God’s season, but summer has a special power.
Jesus Christ is refreshing, but flight from him into Christless leisure makes the soul parched. At first it may feel like freedom and fun to skimp on prayer and neglect the Word, but then we pay: shallowness, powerlessness, vulnerability to sin, preoccupation with trifles, superficial relationships, and a frightening loss of interest in worship and the things of the Spirit.
Don’t let summer make your soul shrivel. God made summer as a foretaste of heaven, not a substitute. If the mailman brings you a love letter from your fiance, don’t fall in love with the mailman. That’s what summer is: God’s messenger with a sun-soaked, tree-green, flower-blooming, lake glistening letter of love to show us what he is planning for us in the age to come—‘things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love him’ (1 Corinthians 2:9). Don’t fall in love with the video preview and find yourself unable to love the coming reality.”

“Setting Our Minds on Things Above in Summer” in
A Godward Life, John Piper
p. 104-105

Let’s make sure that this summer, our devotional habits do not slip but instead actually improve. It won’t happen unless we are intentional. But if we are in love with Jesus, we will protect our love by not allowing a messenger of his love (summer) to keep us from gazing through it to the One, the only One who came, and lived, and died, and rose, and promised to return for us, and promised unspeakable glories and joys with Him forever and ever. 

 


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