Taking a vacation from work, chores, and running errands is wonderful.
Taking a vacation from prayer, serving others, and going to church is troublesome.
During this time of year, people across the country set out on summer vacations. We check out the beach. We hike the mountains. We visit historic sites and theme parks. And we might even visit with distant family members!
When careful planning is met with smooth logistics, these vacations energize us! We anticipate our vacations, and then we reflect back with fond memories, smiling at the photographs and home movies that captured our time away. Vacations are terrific – I hope you are able to take them! Be careful, however, about taking a vacation from your faith.
Our personal faith in Jesus Christ is experienced most fully and joyfully within the
community of faith. The church’s worship, education, fellowship, outreach, and caring is
altogether more coherent and robust when we are together, not alone. This is why, quite
frankly, we take so seriously our Christian discipleship within First United Methodist
Church. When “going to church” gets treated like one of many optional activities, we
seem to devalue our faith experience.
Let’s not allow this to happen to us and our families, especially in light of our vacation
plans. Here are some thoughts to further guide you:
• When family and friends visit you in Salisbury, invite them to First United Methodist Church with you.
• If you vacation out-of-town on a Sunday morning, worship someplace else. I will gladly help you locate an excellent church in your vacation destination, and even contact that church’s pastor so that he or she will be ready to welcome you! Bring me back a worship bulletin, if you don’t mind; consider this a souvenir for your pastor.
• Let Sunday worship at First United Methodist Church help frame your vacation. Worship just prior to your vacation lets you pray, “Lord, let this time away be safe, restful, and renewing.” Worship after your vacation invites you to pray, “Lord, thank you for this time away. Now let me be faithful in the calling you have on my life.”
Let’s not take a vacation from prayer, serving others, and going to church. God is faithful
to us. So let us endeavor to be faithful in return.
Grace and peace,