We gather together

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A little reading teepee  for rest in the middle of the children’s games

July. It must be the month for gathering.

We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing; He chastens and hastens His will to make known.

No wait, that’s a Thanksgiving hymn and checking the weather coupled with the multi-hued shades of green leaves and bright-eyed colorful summer flowers out there, it’s certainly not November.

We gather together.

Nope, the calendar page boldly states it is definitely July.  July, the seventh month of the year, possessor of 31 days. Smack dab in the middle of the year.

And this year, July sports a special occurrence during palindrome (a word, phrase, or sequence that reads the same backward as forward) week July 10-July 19.  For example 7-17-17 can be read the same way backwards or forwards. Or July 10, 2017, written as 7-10-2017, is also a palindromic date – it’s symmetrical. Not going to happen this year in November, no siree.

We gather together.

But wait, it’s July, the month when typically temperatures get downright hot and sultry here in my neck of the woods, when the heat index and humidity start to soar.

So this month couldn’t be any different from that thanksgiving month of November if it tried.  Okay, I will admit, the two have one thing in common – holidays are celebrated in each month: Independence Day in July and Thanksgiving Day in November.

We gather together.

But it’s not November.

We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing.

So why is gathering together on my mind? Here in this summer month?

With the Lord’s blessing, there have been lots of gatherings in my world. Family gatherings. Friend gatherings. At the end of the month, I’ll attend a gathering to shower a bride-to-be with gifts and good wishes.

We gather together.

But the latest gathering was just this past weekend when our church family assembled on a clear, summer Sunday morning at a nearby state park and held an outdoor worship service and family of God picnic afterwards.

Young and old alike – from one year-old to 85-years-old – gathered for a day of togetherness, worshiping God, the Creator of all nature surrounding us in the beauty of the park. 

We gather together.

We sang praise. We listened to our pastor give us a relevant and meaningful message. We feasted on tons of good, homemade picnic food for lunch – tables and tables full of food! We welcomed a family of strangers, campers from the park, to join us.

We played games, laughed, shared stories, enjoyed fellowship, and watched the youngsters shouting with joy as they ran good old-fashioned sack and three-legged races.

We gather together.

Later, we shared a simple supper of grilled hot dogs, leftover picnic fare, and the rest of the sweet tea.

Our day culminated with an evening vesper service as the sun slowly starting sinking into the horizon between the whispering maple and pine trees.

And as we once again sang praises to the Lord God, we murmured our words of thanksgiving.

For the gathering. For the blessings. For this July.

“To gather with God’s people in united adoration of the Father is as necessary to the Christian life as prayer.” ~ Martin Luther

©2017 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

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