“...work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,
for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you…” (Phil 2:12)
Summer is almost here and for many that means no school, taking a vacation or a change in routine. Breaks enable us to enjoy old and new pleasures. Breaks also provide physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. There is one break, however, which Christians must caution against taking. We must not break from regular worship in the summer. I’m specifically referring to the fullness and rhythm of our weekly, community worship. Sunday morning services are the sacred place we can let go of the responsibilities we’ve been holding and allow ourselves to be held by God and our faith community. Consider the following:
- Worship is the time and place we set aside to focus on God; it is where we are refreshed, restored and renewed.
- Worship is the place we can be held in love, confess our sins, receive forgiveness and experience genuine fellowship and hospitality.
- In worship we hear the Lord’s word of promise and are strengthened through the Holy Spirit at baptism and at Holy Communion.
- When we are separated from community worship, we become exhausted and distanced from the fullness of life God intends for us.
- Worship fulfills our need to be dependent upon, and respond to, God’s Holy Spirit through our community.
Ironically we miss out on the very essence of what sustains us, when we choose to stay away from worship.
God gives each of us “free will” to make choices about how we spend our time and talents. We are not abandoned, as we make those choices. God is with us and enables us to move us toward what is good. For those of you who usually take off from church in summertime, I encourage you to continue with regular worship. Bring an overnight guest with you or volunteer in a new capacity. Break from your routine without taking a break from worship itself.
Peace and grace,Pastor Mernie