May: The Gateway to Summer (2021)

I am having a hard time believing that it is already May. The older I get, it seems, the faster the time goes. One minute it is the beginning of a new year and suddenly, as if by magic, we are almost halfway through the year. But regardless of how much we would like to slow things down, here we are in month five of 2021.

May is a good month. I think of May as the gateway to summer. I often experience May as the ending of busy, structured schedules, and the beginning of a much lazier time of summer. As a little girl, May always brought with it the anticipation of things to come. Thoughts of a time when I could run free and not be held back by schedule and structure. As an adult that is less the case, but still there is a different feeling, though subtle, about life as summer approaches. Life seems to slow down. Maybe in this COVID-19 time, slowing down our lives might not be as necessary. But still, May is the beginning of this change.

May is filled with major events and celebrations. There is Mother’s Day and Memorial Day. In addition to all those special days, school and church activities are winding down. There is the anticipation of prom, awards banquets, and the last day of school. Preparations are underway for graduation parties, dance recitals, choir and band concerts, and confirmation.

In the midst of all this, God’s creation is waking up. Trees are budding. Crab apple trees are flowering. Tulips, daffodils, and lilacs are blooming. The air is warmer. The days are longer.

On my walk each day, I hear the frogs and birds happily singing (or croaking) their individual tunes as if to say, “Halleluia, spring is here.” The turtles are sunning themselves on the rocks. The ducks and geese are lazily swimming in the cold water of the pond. As I walk through the neighborhood, the sound of lawn mowers interrupts my quiet solitude, and the smell of grilling food brings a longing for a good burger or brat. There is a different feeling in the air. Could it be that it’s almost summer?

May is a busy season in God’s creation. It reminds me of Ecclesiastes 3: “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted.” This is the season of planting; the season of re-birth. God is creating and it’s very good.

Yes, God has put much into this month, this season of change and new things. It is a season full of anticipation, and some of that anticipation is coming from Shepherd of the Valley as preparations are in full swing for a variety of summer activities for all ages. For children, youth, and family there is VBS (including a new family VBS), mini camps, retreats, and Camp Wapo. Remember to register by May10 for the Embracing Hope Gift Bag – these gift bags offer helpful reminders of Christ’s abundant grace, mercy, and love. You can find more information about these opportunities and more at

May you find ways this summer to experience Christ’s abundant grace, mercy, and love in both familiar and extraordinary ways! My prayer is that you experience God’s love and share it. I would love to hear where and how you experience the love of Christ this summer.

Blessings and Peace,
Pastor Linda