It’s officially summer – and all God’s people said, amen! (I know there are some parents of school aged children who aren’t nearly that enthusiastic).
Sometimes we do need to get away from the routines, sameness, pressures and intense responsibilities of day to day life – for awhile at least. And, if nothing else, summer schedules provide a welcome break up to the monotony and regularity of our typical schedules. Just the fact that it stays light outside until after 9:00pm – what a gift!
So let’s take a break. How about (1) standing outside in the early morning or early evening to simply enjoy the beauty of God’s creation – listen, look, smell, silently praise. No need to even dress up for this occasion. Take a break, and . . . (2) talk to your neighbors who tend to stay inside all winter, like we all do. Be attentive to their stories, and the potential of a need in their life that you could assist. Take a break, and . . . (3) get some outdoor exercise – walking, working around the house, shop in places other than indoor malls. Take a break, and . . . (4) focus on family, relationships, and farm fresh food. After all, everything on TV is a rerun. Baseball is best enjoyed at the ballpark – not in a living room. The selection of Michigan grown products at this time of year is plentiful and delicious.
Taking a break from the routines of day to day life can be extremely refreshing.
More and more, though, the need for a break is being used as the reason for a summer sabbatical from being active in church. After all, what better time than these summer weeks to make alternative Sunday plans?
So what about a break from church?
We only take a break from church if the church is a building, a location, a destination, or a weekly routine of coming and going. Remember, we are the church. We are followers of Christ who gather regularly for worship, encouragement, learning, growing, and serving – together. Our life in Christ is just that – our life. And gathering with God’s people is an expression of our life in Him.
We certainly wouldn’t consider taking a break from our walk with Christ. Our passion for worship, encouragement, growing in Him and serving – is constant. If who we are in Christ is the core of our identity, then taking a break is not an option.
So, as we all take a much needed break this summer, let’s use it to stretch ourselves toward furthering our walk with Christ – not taking a break. Let’s keep up with the Bible reading assignments for the Cover to Cover series. How about reading that Christian growth resource that sits on your shelf, or desk, or nightstand? Would you consider getting involved in a ministry that is outside your typical commitment – like the upcoming Fun Fair in August? Be looking for unique opportunities to give away and serve others – like our teams are doing this summer on their various mission trips.
Whatever we do this summer to take a break, let’s celebrate the change of pace, but at the same time remain fully engaged as a follower of Jesus, a member of His Church, and an essential part of His Body. We are never given permission to take a break in the development of our life in Him.