Summer at last!

Summer at last! It’s good to feel warm, to have the mud on the dog walk dried up, and to see the garden in glorious technicolour.

The school, college and university terms are drawing to a close, and the stress of tests and exams will be over – just the worrying wait for the results to endure now!

Holidays loom for many people – though those of us no longer with children at home tend to go away other than in August. A much needed time or rest and relaxation, a chance to re-charge the batteries, an opportunity to explore somewhere new and have horizons widened culturally, and geographically.

Being away from home for a change is always invigorating, but isn’t it always lovely to come home to your own bed, and to the teapot where it ought to be?

What about those many people (Caitlin Moran writing in the Times recently suggested it might be as many as 50 million) who will not be going home, because they are refugees and displaced persons? Have you read about the tense situations where western European holiday-makers have had to share the beaches with penniless refugees from the Middle East? What about those parts of Italy and France where there are real problems because of the “boat people” from many African countries who have made the perilous crossing of the blue waters of the Med (Not always calm and friendly waters either) and now live on the beach? And what about those in the Far East who are not allowed to rescue boatloads of exhausted, thirsty and terrified people who have been at sea for months?

The kingdom of God is all about peace, justice and righteousness. Those qualities seem to be in short supply for many people this summer. Please pray for those who no longer have homes or communities or jobs, or schools to return to. Those who may well be without hope. And pray too for diplomats and politicians, and all who try to find a solution to such an enormous problem.

Maybe saddest of all is that the problem has been caused by humanity – or do I mean inhumanity? “Above all things love God,” said Jesus; “and then love your neighbour as you would like him to love you.” Oh if only we did!

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