June is my favorite month because it makes me think of green trees, flowers, warm weather, graduations, weddings, swimming, vacations, and the promise of a long summer ahead. As months go, its imagery is rivaled in my mind only by December, the month of early winter, Christmas and snow.
December imagery revolves around winter and Christmas. The season calls to mind snow, Christmas trees, lights, Christmas music, shopping, presents, and all kinds of edible Christmas treats. More importantly, it makes me think about the Lord in a manger, His adoring mother, the wisemen and shepherds with camels and sheep, and gold, frankincense and myrrh. Christmas music is by far my favorite kind of music.
The imagery of June, however, has every reason to be better than that of December. For one thing, it is simply a better time of year, with good weather, flowers, vacations getting started, travel, and outdoor activities of every kind.
But June’s real magic is all about New Church Day. The Word’s imagery associated with the events that we celebrate on June 19th is unparalleled in its vividness, drama, and spectacular beauty. The threat of the dragon, the wonder of the Woman Clothed with the Sun and her Child, the power of the One on the white horse and His angels, and His majesty on the white throne, as the Holy City New Jerusalem descends with its gems, its river, garden and the Tree of Life, are aspects of a story that ought to arouse joy and hope in everyone.
Every part of this narrative is always relevant and meaningful with respect to whatever is going on in the world. Just as the songs, movies and stories that make up the culture of Christmas are about kindness, generosity, forgiveness and hope, the culture springing from all that we are told about the Second Coming affirms and extends this narrative into an amazing future.
Of course, at this point few people associate June with this kind of imagery or future happiness. June is pretty good all on its own. But in the New Church there is the opportunity to attach the same kind of special magic to this month that we are so happy to do to December. We do it with picnics, pageants, music, stories and projects. The real magic, though, as always, is in happy families, good friendships, a welcoming and positive spirit and a shared reverence for things that are truly important.