2nd Timothy 2:8 – “Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David — that is my gospel…”
Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
It has been my experience, both as a Pastor and someone who was very active in lay leadership, there is a trend throughout the church (in the US) that late spring and summer is a slow time. It is a busy time for everyone else. I know for myself, I just finished with Special Olympics and am now getting ready for the Lutheran Youth Gathering (though by the time you read this – Wyatt Smith, Jesse and I will be on our journey back home). I know this is also a very busy time for farmers; there are preparations for harvest. For many, there are vacations, summer sports, camps, and summer jobs.
Perhaps you have noticed that during this period, church attendance typically drops and few activities outside of worship are scheduled. Now, please know that I am not going to get on top of my soap-box and provide a sermon about “the good old days,” especially when it is something that is out of our control. When I was a child, the options that were available to us were quite limited. I do remember that our family often went to Sky Ranch for a congregational family long weekend or week. For good or bad, priorities within our culture have experienced a dramatic change
While I understand that there are many things we need or want to do, I would urge us not to forget about Jesus, the One who gives us the strength, and God our creator that provides the resources to do the things we love and want to do. The congregation (your sisters and brothers in Christ) will pray for you when you are not with us. Consider bringing your family and friends to worship with you when they come to visit. This is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the presence of Christ among us.
If schedules just simply make it impossible, please take time to pray and spend time in God’s word on your own. Give me a call or send me an email and I would be happy to email you the week’s texts and would be happy to share the sermon of the week with you.
In all that you do please also remember that whether you are in church or not, the expenses of the church continue through the summer. Perhaps you could send or mail in your offering for the Sundays you cannot be there. I have my bank draw up payments directly and they mail them to the church on my behalf.
One last thought for your consideration – when you are traveling, perhaps you could worship at a church in the community you are visiting. I once had someone tell me they drove around all morning looking for a Lutheran church. If you cannot readily find a Lutheran congregation, consider this a wonderful opportunity to experience worship within a different denomination. It is a wonderful way to discover how your brothers and sisters in Christ gather and give thanks and praise to God.
I pray that you and those you love (including all those in your family who serve our nation) have a safe and blessed 4th of July. May God bless you in all that you do, and may God continue to bless us all as we are so VERY blessed to be living in this amazing land called America.
Pr. Paul +
p.s. - Did you know that Luther said??? (By the way – I LOVE this one) – “I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God’s hands, that I still possess.”