Today’s Word from Rev. David Bieniek…  

Growing up in Texas, I had never heard of Juneuary. In fact, in Texas June seldom had anything in common with January. It was usually the first month that temperatures would hit greater than 100 degrees! Here in the Pacific Northwest, Juneuary may last well into July. We moved here at the end of June ten years ago. We were excited to be invited to a Fourth of July party. We showed up in shorts and t-shirts; it was summer at the beach, but soon we were huddled under blankets close to a fire. That is when we learned that summer does not start here until July 5th!

It seems to me that this year, Juneuary has been mercifully lenient with us, several nice days – even some sunny days from time to time. But summer is still hiding out most of the time. I feel like that is how our world is going these days. Glimmers of hope but generally gloomy, cool, and sometimes wet, may reflect both our weather and the state of our culture.

Juneuary teaches us many things about life, about patience, and about growth. Juneuary, like its namesake, January, is a period when nature is taking her time. In late winter, bulbs are beginning to awaken, buds begin to appear on trees, and animals begin to wake up from their winter slumbers. Juneuary is also a season of preparation. Spring has sprung, but the cool moist days allow young animals to graze and meander, flowers can grow tall in the heavy dew even while they soak up the filtered sunlight, and our bodies slowly adjust to longer days and mornings that begin with loud birdsong as baby birds clamor for abundant morning worms.

Yes Juneuary, this year especially, can also teach us. It teaches us to slow down, to count blessings, to appreciate new life, to marvel as the sun peaks out, and to celebrate the longer days. It is also a reminder to us that better days are coming. We just have to keep the faith. Soon after the fireworks of 4th of July, summer begins. And it won’t be long before we might be griping about how hot it is.

How do you get through Juneuary? How do you get through the days when the sun is still out until late, but it’s too chilly to dance in its sunset? How do you stay focused on that July 5th summer that is still coming? How do you hold out?

Remember that our God walks with us through all the seasons of life, not just the difficult or happy ones. Our God is a God of transition. Jesus taught us that God looks for lost things – a lost coin, one lost sheep, a lost child. Juneuary may seem like a lost season, but it is one full of promise and delight. Enjoy it while it is still here!

Rev. Dave Bieniek

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