Well, it’s that time of the year again! School is out and vacation season is upon us!
It’s that time of the year when we just want to sit back relax and take a break! I mean, after all, we’ve been through for the past year-and-a-half; we deserve a break, don’t we? We’ve been working hard all year long (in unusual ways, to be sure) and our kids have been in school, also in unusual ways, so isn’t it OK for us to kick off our shoes, loosen our collars, and unwind?
Traditionally, summer has become the leisure time for the whole family. This is the season when our kids are taking a break from studies, and we are taking a break from work, and, if you believe the advertising, we are all going to Disney World!
We all want to think of summer as a vacation time – a time to get away from the routine, to break away from the traditional daily “grind,” and to relax on a sun-drenched beach somewhere in far-off exotic scenic destinations!
So, in a sense of trying to do that, we change our schedules to take a break not only from school for a couple of months as well as from work for a couple of weeks — but also from church.
Not only do we not attend, but we also tend not to give as well. Traditionally summers in churches are seasons of low attendance as well as low giving!
But that is not the truth for everyone. I was talking with one fellow the other day about his vacation travel plans, and he looked at me in amazement. He said that almost as soon as school is out, his kids are getting involved in the summer sports leagues. He told me he IS taking a vacation from work for a couple of weeks this summer, but that the only travel he was going to do was back and forth to and from the ballpark!
I guess when you think about it, the message for the summer is: “Whatever you do, wherever you go, don’t forget your church!” Go when you can and continue to give faithfully!
Your encouragement is needed. Your support is needed. And you are needed!
But most of all, YOU NEED IT!
You need the encouragement that you get with your church family! You need the support that you can only derive from people who are physically and spiritually united with you.
And what’s more, you benefit greatly when you serve others, helping to minister to their hurts and meet their needs. This selfless spirit of servanthood is what Christ exemplified and preached throughout His earthly life and ministry.
There was a popular television commercial making the rounds some time ago about a guardian angel who was very lax in watching over his subject, except when that person was about to use a competitor’s credit card! He seemed to be sleeping on the job.
The commercial was trying to point out that this angel really comes to life when the credit card decision is being made, but it rather seemed that the point is being made that sometimes God is lax and lackadaisical when it comes to our welfare.
The fact is God is never sleeping on the job! God does not take a break from you, and, therefore, you should not take a break from God!
At this point, you may be thinking, “Yeah, but he is the former pastor of a church. He ought to be saying that!”
My friend, this challenge is more than one coming from a pastor of a church. It also comes directly from the Word of God. We read in Hebrews 10:24-25 “… and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.”
Time is short! Let’s use it for good and for God! Let’s not take a break from God this summer!
Worship weekly and give regularly!
God requires it!
Your church needs it!
YOU need it!
God bless …
Chuck Tabor is a regular columnist for the News Journal and a former pastor in the area. He may be reached at [email protected].