When I was a teenager our local radio station used to play an ad at this time of year that went something like, “In the good old summertime, in the good old summertime. Keep your radio on for more fun in the sun, to WARM radio.” Without a doubt we have hit the time of “lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer.” Yesterday’s temperature was in the 90’s!
I think most of us are happy that the seasons come and go. I know I am. Bring on the summer, but I’ll be more than ready for fall come September. I have aged to the point where I’d be satisfied with a shortened winter season, though. Then back to spring and around we go again.
The summer is vacation season for many. It’s not difficult to understand why. We’ve been “cooped-up” inside over the cold winter months. Now the sun is warm, the pools and beaches are open, the aroma of steaks sizzling on the grill is wafting through the air and the great outdoors is beckoning to us! No more “cabin fever!” In Pennsylvania a local TV newsman used to say we should get outside and “Enjoy, enjoy!”
We all need time to relax and be refreshed. My wife and I didn’t have a lot of money for family vacations when our kids were small. So we had to be creative. We found inexpensive things we could do as a family and in the process created some wonderful memories. We had picnic lunches, went to museums and historical sites, took drives in the country, and the like. There are always things you can do.
Having been a full time pastor for the past 38 years I’ve come to understand that summer season affects the local church also. Church attendance and participation tend to move down a few notches in our sense of what is important. It’s an uncomfortable subject to bring up. On the one side, as I said, we all need some rest & relaxation. But on the other side, we all need the strength that comes from community and worshiping together.
Someone will surely say, “Yes, but I can read my Bible at home.” My comment would be that we should all be doing that AND worshiping together. Another statement I’ve heard is “I’ll just watch Christian TV!” My concern? Christian TV is not a viable substitute for worshiping together. The biblical principle is “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together,…” [Hebrews 10:24, 25a] We all have responsibilities to our brothers and sisters in Christ. We need each other.
My recommendation then? Enjoy the summer. Take a vacation. Get outside and enjoy some summertime activities. Just make your home church a vital part of your summer too. Attend, participate, give, sing, worship, serve, and fellowship. You won’t regret it!