I’m writing this article (thankfully, in an air-conditioned space) in the midst of a crazy late-May heat wave that has seen the earliest 100-degree reading in Twin Cities history. It’s hard to imagine a more unmistakable reminder that summer is once again upon us.
Summer provides most of us a change in our schedules. For some (teachers, students and others), the shift is quite dramatic. For others, the rhythm of the work week may not change much, but there are still opportunities for the things that mean “summer”: time at the cabin or at a lake, special activities with kids and grandkids, and maybe a whole lot of ice cream.
I’m excited about what the summer season will mean for Redeemer. I look forward to breaking in our new parking lot (thank you for making this possible!), and for opportunities to worship together each Sunday morning. I joyfully anticipate our frequent opportunities for fellowship, learning and service together throughout the summer, as well.
I am thankful for opportunities our children and youth will have this summer that simply aren’t possible during the school year. Our kids (and their friends) will once again encounter the love of God and the truths of Scripture through Vacation Bible School. Our youth will have wonderful opportunities to learn and to serve together, and to get to know our youth ministry coordinator, Mitch Eifert. And a group of students and adult leaders, after years of planning and fundraising, will be heading to CHIC 2018 in Knoxville, Tennessee.
I’m reminded of CHIC 2006, which featured a mainstage contest along the lines of “America’s Got Talent.” The winner was Julia Peterson, a student hailing from Roseville Covenant Church right here in Minnesota. One of her songs, “Summer Spent,” is all about the unique opportunities that summer affords, and what a special season it can be in our lives. As I think again about that song, I’m reminded that when we come to Labor Day weekend this September, we’ll be able to reflect on a summer that perhaps has flown by and been spent in a whirlwind of activity, or on a season that saw us investing with particular intentionality in our relationships, our families, our shared ministries, and our individual walks with God.
The Apostle Paul writes to the Colossian Christians about how to invest time and not simply to spend it: “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone” (Colossians 4:5-6). Paul’s words remind us that, no matter where we are or what we’re doing, whether we’re on vacation or at work or on the softball field, how we act and what we say makes a difference. As followers of Jesus, we’re called to never be “on vacation” from our faith or from our awareness that our words and choices have the potential to open up conversations and opportunities with those who might currently be “outsiders” of the Kingdom.
Whether you’re serving or participating in any of our many summer ministry opportunities at Redeemer, or living out your faith at home, at work or at the lake this summer, may God bless you with opportunities to demonstrate his grace and to have well-seasoned conversations that glorify God and that reflect the joy of a summer spent walking with him.