Welcome to summer! We made it. Months and months of snow and cold followed by a strange spring, but here we are, and we can safely assume that the weeks ahead will come with at least 70-degree weather. Summer brings a season of outdoor enjoyment for many of us. Trips to the lake, grilling, relaxing outside in the cool breeze as we soak in some sun. Gardens grow, flowers blossom, crops fill the fields, trees turn green, and we get to add weekly lawn mowing to our household chores. Summer is a season of growth.  
God’s creation is made to grow. In one of his more well-known parables, Jesus compares the kingdom of God to a mustard seed. The growth of the tiny seed into a magnificent shrub is only the beginning of the growth that takes place. Because mustard seeds aren’t something that farmers were planting when Jesus told this parable. No, mustard was a weed. Imagine if Jesus told us today, “The kingdom of God is like creeping Charlie” or thistle or dandelions, buckthorn, and crabgrass. It turns out that the kingdom of God is like a weed that grows and grows and grows. It’s invasive, it takes over and will not be easily contained, which I think is the point that Jesus was trying to make in his parable: you can’t control the kingdom of God. Like a mustard seed or like the farmer who scatters seed, which then sprouts and grows without any effort, the kingdom cannot be controlled; it is wild and unruly, it takes over and transforms our lives and our world.  
God’s creation is made to grow. As you look outside your window, you’ll notice that creation is in step with God’s intentions. As part of God’s creation, we are made to grow with God as well. God’s activity in our lives is all around us. Do we notice the new things that God is doing? Do we take advantages of the opportunities that God gives us to deepen our faith and trust in all that God does? This summer we will be exploring how we can grow with God during Sunday worship. We will explore stories from the Bible of how God brings growth to all of creation and how God can bring growth to us. Like a good gardener, God helps us grow into the lives we have been called to live. As we hear stories from scripture about seeds, trees, vineyards, farms, and other aspects of nature, we will learn about God’s grace and mercy. We will grow deeper into the servants we are called to be as we pursue justice and care for all of creation. So come grow your faith this summer. Come and grow with God.
Pastor Justin