Summer arrived a day or two ago – just in case you did not notice!  It trumpeted its arrival on my dashboard by telling me that the temperature outside was 100 degrees.  That is what I would call a grand entrance – and I love it!
I like all the seasons here in Michigan, but summer is my favorite.  I like it hot.  I like the long days.  I like the more relaxed schedule.  I like the thunderstorms.  I like the flowers.  I like wearing shorts and putting away my coats.  Thus, today it is a joy for me to say, “Summer is here.”
That being said, I have long been an advocate for changing the start date of our seasons.  It makes no sense to me to use a solstice as the beginning of a season.  Personally, I think the beginning of June should be the first day of summer – then autumn would include September, October, and November.  Wouldn’t it be more appropriate on June 1st to say, “Summer is here”?  I think so.
Of course, I also am one who wants to change the date of Easter.  The first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox is grossly outdated.  If I handed you a petition moving Easter to the first Sunday after the first Saturday in April (thus avoiding April 1 as a date for Easter) would you sign it?  I know if you handed me one like that, I would sign it in a heartbeat.
As you may be guessing my now, these “lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer bring out some frivolity in me.  Last evening as I pumped gas at BJ’s I was singing a country song with the stranger at the next pump.  He had the song blaring from his pickup truck.  We both agreed that our world could use more smiles and laughter – especially at the gas pump.
There are a few things we can change, but many more that we cannot.  I doubt that using solstices to change seasons or a full moon to locate Easter will ever change.  Complaints about temperatures being too high or too low don’t really get us anywhere.  And I don’t think there is any more chance of me changing who is president today than there was for me to do it four years ago today.  So, we might all be better off if we simply smile, laugh, and sing country songs with strangers as we celebrate that summer is here.
One of the best ways, I think, to influence positive change in our world is to meet every stranger with a smile and an attentive ear.  Of course, this goes the same for those who are not strangers, too.  Do you remember Luther’s explanation to the Eighth Commandment?  “We should fear and love God so that we do not tell lies about our neighbor, betray him, slander him, or hurt his reputation, but defend him, speak well of him, and put the best construction on everything.”  How different would our world be today if everyone tried to put these words into practice on a daily basis?
Of course, that takes me back to the realization that there are few things we can change and many more that we cannot.  I can no more change you than I can the man on the moon.  But I can work on changing me.  And if I change myself into a person who smiles more, laughs more, and puts the best construction on everything, I just might get you to consider doing the same.
Summer is here, my friends, and it is not going away until the autumnal equinox arrives.  There will be hot days and thunderstorms, along with cool days and starry nights.  We can either grumble about what is not or smile and laugh through what is.  Is there any question about which will have a more positive effect upon our neighbor (and our world)?  Paul puts it this way, “Let your gentleness be known to everyone.  The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4.5-7)
And of course, right before that he says, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.(Philippians 4.4) Do you thank that perhaps, in a lost verse between 4 and 5 he wrote, “Summer is here”?  Or am I being frivolous again – if so, and it brought a smile or a laugh to your face, it was well worth it.

Summer is Here