The Summons

Monday, September 22

White Birch in Front of Maple TreesBy John Bonney of Springfield Oregon, USA

Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; the world and those who live in it. Let the floods clap their hands; let the hills sing together for joy at the presence of the Lord…

—Psalm 98:7–9 NRSV

The trees are almost bare, signaling the approach of the most wonderful time of year for me. In the winter months, the trees are dark, stark, and bare. They stand bleakly against the sky, showing their naked, gnarly bones. It is a sight with which I never grow bored. On an unadorned winter morning, I see such imaginative, creative gifts of the eternal Presence. The trees, stand, waiting for the summons to fulfill their purpose.

Soon spring unfolds, and those same unadorned trees find another season of expression. The leaves appear in their small light-green, almost yellow jackets. In time…in time, those same leaves become full, darker green, and glorious. They dress the tree in a verdant robe. They sing silent praise of the presence of the One who created them.

Time passes, and I see the trees of early summer. Decked in lush and deep green, in yet another stage of their splendor, they display their leafy tresses as if they were the only specimen on the block. They are gray-green, blue-green, and many more greens between.

In September the cycle comes to another completion. Not ending, but continuing to the next cycle. The leaves find their purpose. They take on a varied and glorious color palette to express their wonder at creation. Then the leaf falls and fulfills its purpose, completing its journey on Earth.

We, too, as humans feel the journey. Each season includes joy and pain. We see the passing of those we know, those who are close to us. It hurts, and we find relief in the memories of cycles past. We are left to watch others move on. We remember the lives we shared. Thank you, God, for continuing creation’s cycle.

Prayer for Peace You bring us home, God, when we have nowhere else to go. Thank you for the seasons and cycles of the Earth. Thank you for the renewal of creation, which delights us, and the comforting return of the familiar. Return us to peace.

Spiritual Practice: All That Lives Take a walk and find a tree where you can sit (or imagine walking). Lean against the tree and feel the texture of the bark. Listen to the wind move through the leaves. Sense God’s presence flowing through the tree and all creation. Offer a prayer of gratitude for your connection to all that lives. Ask for grace to discern and carry out one small act of justice or healing that creates greater wholeness for the planet, the community of creation.

Peace Covenant Today, God, I will cherish the present season.

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5 Comments

  1. Velma Vanderpool

     /  22 September 2014

    Very well written, living in places that has the changing season’s is a very wonderful life to live and enjoy. Yes the cycle of life is also to be enjoyed and the older you get the more memories you have. God has given us a wonderful life,seasons of change and beauty. May we all take care of God’s world and love the seasons and the people we meet daily. Velma Vanderpool, Wilder, Idaho

  2. Vera Entwistle

     /  22 September 2014

    Loved the picture that came with your Daily Bread today. After living in Australia, I had forgotten the beauty of fall. But I am not ready for summer to be over!!

  3. Mike Mitchell

     /  22 September 2014

    This speaks to my soul one of a living creator who as we walk in this life we are mindful that each day is a precious gift and we are blessed to be here

    Blessings My brother

  4. Diane Akers

     /  22 September 2014

    Very well said! Yes, can relate to the changing Seasons and all the beauty. Thanks!

  5. Janné Grover

     /  22 September 2014

    Thank you, John, for this beautiful expression of the creative, life-giving wonder of God.

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