Dear Friends in Christ,
"Summertime - and the living is easy..." So goes part of a line in a once popular song and it is true, at least to some extent. As a former Yankee who moved south some forty plus years ago I used to think it had something to do with the heat, and that may be, but I think there is so much more.
In our hectic lives filled with all kinds of responsibilities and things that we believe require our attention, I believe we all need some time to sit back and relax and perhaps reflect a bit. After all, God rested on the seventh day and it became Sabbath time. Like many of you I am not so good at keeping my Sabbath time, but I do try, and in a real sense that is what summer provides us - an extended Sabbath.
But you know Sabbath was never intended to be a time in which we do nothing. It is a time with a real purpose. It is a time for us to get in touch with what is, or what should be, important in our lives and in the lives of those we love. Frankly, I wish I made better use of that time. Perhaps you feel the same way, or at least this letter may raise the question for you.
While I would hope that we all would make more productive use of the time that God provides, I would also hope that we would include in our summer plans an attempt to make a closer connection to our God. It has always troubled me that summer seems to be a time in which we put God and His church on the back burner. More than at any time in the year summer is a time when participation in the life of the church is at its lowest level. Now I know that there are things like vacations and family outings that play into the lower church participation, but does it have to be that way? Can we not find ways to keep God and His Church front and center in our lives? To the best of my knowledge, God does not take a vacation from us. Why should we take a vacation from Him?
My prayer for myself and for those of you receiving this letter is that we try and make this summer a little different. At least, let us give keeping up our worship and study habits a try. Good luck and may you have a blessed summer.