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The green season

By Scott Baker

Outside my kitchen window is our household garden with tomatoes, squash, various peppers and assorted herbs. Each morning as I stand at the sink I am able to look out and see the progression of growth as the days lengthen and the weather gets warmer. In fact, our little garden is just a microcosm of what is going on in the creation around us. The leaves get fuller, the grass gets greener, and the flowers dot meadows and yards alike. Indeed, all around us we are reminded that summer is the season for growth.

The church is no different. As we cross the threshold into the month of June, the liturgical color changes from the white of Eastertide and the red of Pentecost and Trinity, to the green of the Season after Pentecost.

Some liturgical theologians have actually named this longest season of the church year, the discipleship season. It is the time when we are instructed in the faith through Jesus himself. We listen in on the lessons he taught to his disciples and his followers. It is during this season we gather at the feet of the Master and are instructed in how to follow him in The Way.

The irony is that summertime is traditionally when Christians are least present in church. Regardless if we are regularly at church during the summer or not, we are still called to grow as Christians and apprentices of Jesus Christ. The summer is a wonderful time to set aside a portion of your day to devote to studying holy Scripture, praying the daily office, or just tending to your spiritual growth through centering prayer or the rosary. As the sunshine and warm soil are the catalysts for the growth of the garden outside my kitchen window, so too are the things I’ve listed above. We are called to grow.

The old saying is true, “God calls each of us exactly where we are, but he doesn’t leave us there for very long.” God calls each one of us to follow him in our baptisms, in doing so he invites us to grow into “the full stature of Christ.”

The liturgical color of this time of year is green. It reminds us that it’s not just the creation around us that grows; we too are called to grow. We are invited to take the summer as the opportunity to adopt some new and nourishing spiritual practices that will enable us to grow.

In so doing, and by God’s grace, there will be a bountiful harvest in the fall.

THE REV. SCOTT BAKER is the rector at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Franklin. Contact him at 562-4542.