It has now officially been summer for just over a week. The coming of summer means that my routine has changed. Instead of preparing Sunday school lessons, leading Friday night Ignite gatherings, or planning for our young adult life group, I am organizing our Vacation Bible School and preparing to take off to Pine Lake Christian Camp with a bunch of High School students next week. It is quite likely that your routines are changing as well as your kids have time off school and the nicer weather provides opportunities to get outside and maybe you are even able to find a few days to head out of town and enjoy some vacation time.
My experience is that when seasons and routines change, it can often lead to changes in our spiritual lives as well. Sometimes for the better, sometimes not. We just finished a Sunday morning sermon series which we called Five Smooth Stones. We talked about some of the essential elements of our Christian faith: living as new creations; pursuing justice while holding on to the hope of eternal life; living a life without limits; drawing closer to God; and doing all these things in community. My challenge for you this week is to take advantage of this summer season to grow – to change for the better – in these five areas. Pursue community: join one of our Wednesday Bible studies or get together to pray with Christian brothers and sisters on a weekly basis. Commit to being at church on Sunday mornings as often as possible. If you are out of town for the weekend, find a church wherever you are and worship for the morning with your extended Christian family. Learn more about what it means to be a new creation in Christ. Read a book which will challenge you in your faith (perhaps Mere Discipleship which Hope recommended last week or one of Kelly’s suggestions from back in April). Spend time in scripture and prayer getting to know God better. My own experience is that summer is unfortunately a time where we often put God in the backseat and let our faith drift for a month or two. Do not let that be the case this summer. Instead, seek God and ask him to allow this to be a season of growth in your life!
And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is good.
-1 Thessalonians 3:13