Ahhhh, summer! A time to break up your normal routines and the other aspects of our lives that brings on celebrations, vacations, summer camps, swimming, boating, and other activities that are typically reserved for this time of year.
So, if we take a break from work and school and the other routines of our lives, what about worship? What about loving and caring for others? Do we take a break from those things that God has asked of us . . . commanded us?
It may surprise you to know that the answer is “yes.” Jesus took time off to re-energize, relax with family and friends, or to take a spiritual retreat to pray and be alone with God. I doubt many of us take in the latter, but we should. But the point I am trying to make is that it is ok to take a break. But not a long one that you forget the routine of what it means to be a Christian, to be the church of Jesus Christ in a world that does not take a break from inflicting harm and suffering on its people.
Fair warning though. As you go off to your choice of relaxation and a break from the routine of life, you may experience what happened with Jesus when he took a break. Those restful breaks were interrupted with pleas from others that beckoned him back to work. That may seem unhealthy, but that is the world we live in where as Robin Roberts, a famous broadcaster and TV host says in her book, “everybody’s got something!” You can retreat from the routine, but the routine of caring for others will follow you wherever you go.
As I enter into the next phase of my life, I may be retiring as a synodically authorized minister, but I cannot retire from being the church wherever my life take me. The needs of others will always be there no matter where God leads me to. So it is with our summer break. The needs of God’s people will always be there . . . for Jesus says, “the poor will always be with us.”
So, continue to be the church on your summer break. Look for the poor wherever your summer plans take you and take a moment to be that blessing in the world to that stranger that may just need a word of hope, a word of encouragement, a word of love . . . for “Love Wins” all the time. It is the one routine that is constant and has no end.
Keep the faith . . .