Pastor Mike: Don't let summer relaxation keep your from God

by Mike Dvorak

Hello To Everyone, How is your summer going so far? Even though we have only been in the summer season officially for a couple of days, it seems like it has been longer than that. When school gets out; when the swimming pools open; when vacations start happening, that’s when it starts to feel like summer.

It is a time when we try to get away from the reality of everyday life as we may experience it for the rest of the year. For many people it is an escape from reality. Unfortunately, the summer is a time when many people escape from church also. They are too busy with sports, travel, yard work, relaxing, or any of a multitude of excuses.

Sometimes it seems that any reason is a good reason to stay home on Sunday morning. After all, everyone else is doing it. No one will notice if I skip going to church this Sunday. “I just need a break.” This brings up a question of priorities. What are your priorities? What are God’s priorities?

I don’t remember reading anywhere in the Bible where God takes a day off and did nothing. The story of creation in the book of Genesis tells us that God created the earth in six days and rested on the seventh day. Resting is not the same as yard work or ball games or sleeping in.

Resting is something that refreshes and renews, not just the body but also our soul. God gave us an example of resting when on the seventh day he took a break from work and what ever activities were going on. In the olden days of the Old Testament, the seventh day was designated as a day of rest and worship. That hasn’t changed except the Sabbath was moved to Sunday instead of a Saturday. (That is a story for another time).

Some would ask “if we go to church every Sunday, are we just trying to earn our way into Heaven; are we being church people on Sunday so we don’t make God mad?” These are good questions that can help us grow our faith and serve the Lord in a more profound way. Worship is a way to get to know God better. It is something we should do to increase our love and faith. It has been said that staying home and listening to church on the television or a radio is a good thing.

On one hand it is a good thing but a better way is to worship in a church with friends and family. Being with others in church is an experience that strengthens each of us. Worship is more than just listening to the preacher. Worship includes being drawn closer to God by hearing the Word and feeling the love of God with other worshippers.

How many times have you gone to a ballgame and you were the only person there? I would guess not many. If you did go to an event once and you were alone, would you do it again? Probably not. It is a better more meaningful experience to join in a group. The group can be large or small, and it is better than being by yourself. Isn’t God watching over us all the time, even when we’re alone? Yes he is, and it is good to have an alone time with God but it is also good to be surround by others with the same love of God. It strengthens us and helps us draw closer to the Lord. It is a learning experience both for the brain and the soul.

Being together is good. Being a part of a church congregation is good. Some would say they don’t have a church to go to. That is not an excuse, there are many choices in Blackwell or your community to attend.

One of my favorite anecdotes is when someone asks “what does it take to be a good church member?” The answer is “believe in Jesus and have a 9 by 12 casserole dish”. Christians do have a sense of humor and we like to eat, especially at pot luck dinners.

Don’t let summer be an excuse to not attend church. God doesn’t take off on Monday because he had to work Sunday. Worship is an everyday event in which we should participate, sometimes in our quite corner and sometimes together in church. God is always with us and we should do our best to be with him also. Grace and blessings to each of you.