Summer is here! Okay, officially it won’t be here until June 21st, but school has ended, and here in the church we are moving into summer mode, with our choirs, our Bible Study groups, the Alpha Group, and several other groups all taking a break. And I think that’s a good thing. In some ways, the summer downtime in the church is sort of like taking a sabbath rest. For all those people who work in the various ministries of the church all year long, having a couple of months to rest, renew and reboot is a good thing. Because my experience tells me that taking a little down time makes it possible for us all to return Mid-August with more energy and focus. So take a break!
But don’t make it a complete break! Take a vacation, or a stay-cation for a couple of weeks, cut back on some meetings, but DON’T stop coming to worship. Make worship part of your time to rest in God’s presence. Make the fellowship time after worship a time to renew your connections with folks you haven’t talked to in a while. And make those renewed connections with God’s people be a reminder to reboot your connection with God through quiet time and prayer.
Gathering for worship is a time to recall and acknowledge God being in your life, a time to be with others in God’s presence. Gathering for fellowship with your church family makes God’s love real for us, since we most often experience God’s love through the love of other people. And quiet time with God, meditating on the
scriptures or a devotional reading, helps still the inner and outer voices that are always chattering away at us, so we can hear the still small voice of God.
So, enjoy the summer, get out in the garden, get out in the woods, get onto the beach, or get into the
mountains. Sit on the porch or the deck with a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy the chirping of the birds. Just make sure that at 10:00 am on Sunday morning, you get yourself back to church. I promise, your soul and your spirit will thank you!
In Paul’s letter the Ephesian Christians, he tells them, “offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” To apply that to what I just said above, get your body out of bed and into the church on Sunday – make the sacrifice of time you might want to use to do something else to go sit in God’s presence with your church family – for that is your true and proper worship.
Then Paul tells them, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind (and I would add renewing of your soul).” To apply that to what I said up above, don’t do what most
people tend to do in the summer – skip worship. Come to church, where God will transform you, renewing your mind and soul for the week ahead, out in the world.
So, I hope to see you in church!
Blessings and Peace,
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. – Paul’s letter to the Ephesians 12:1-2