summer flowers and blue sky

Why celebrate summer?

Psalm 74.12-17

The word ‘summer’ has many connotations. Most of them come from those golden days of our childhood. We remember beaches and donkey rides and sunshine, we remember tramping across heather-clad hills, boating on calm lochs and sunshine. We remember the stays in friendly boarding houses in picturesque towns and we bring to mind family picnics and we never forget the sunshine. However, these are rather selective memories. Since we know, just fine, that; beaches were often wind-swept bordering  stormy seas, hills and lochs were often cloaked in rain and midges, land-ladies could be difficult parties and sand got into our sandwiches. Even in summer then the sun did not always shine.


Moreover, with maturity and experience of life, we realise there can be winter days in the height of summer. We know that summer will last forever. Indeed we are all too aware that ahead will be changing seasons, sudden showers and times of gloaming towards sunset,


Yet today we can still celebrate summer. Indeed, we recall the words of the Psalmist and give thanks to God for his creation of summer. Since, we can give thanks for this period when the world seems warm, enjoyable and so full of opportunities.  But above all, we sing out willingly because we have a God of unmatched shoes.

A man who was commissioned to paint a picture of the Prodigal Son. He went into his work fervently, labouring to produce a picture worthy of telling the story. Finally, the day came when the picture was complete, and he unveiled the finished painting. The scene was set outside the father’s house, and showed the open arms of each as they were just about to meet and embrace. The man who commissioned the work was well pleased, and was prepared to pay the painter for his work, when he suddenly noticed a detail that he had missed. Standing out in the painting above everything else in the scene, was the starkly apparent fact that the father was wearing one red shoe and one blue shoe. He was incredulous. How could this be, that the painter could make such an error? He asked the painter, and the man simply smiled and nodded, assuring the man, “Yes, this is a beautiful representation of the love of God for His children.” “What do you mean?” he asked, puzzled. “The father in this picture was not interested in being colour-coordinated or fashion-conscious when he went out to meet his son. In fact, he was in such a hurry to show his love to his son, he simply reached and grabbed the nearest two shoes that he could find. “He is the God of the Unmatched Shoes.”

That’s then why we truly give thanks to God this very day. It is because he in Jesus Christ is rushing towards us no matter the season.  In summer, he celebrates with us no matter how he is dressed. In autumn he holds us tightly without concern for his dignity.


And in winter, he carries us – he carries us more than a mile in our own shoes.



Illustration ‘God of unmatched shoes’ is from


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