Summertime: We’re here every Sunday!
“Summertime, and the livin’ is easy” – or so said George Gershwin when he wrote that classic song from “Porgy & Bess” back in 1934. Summer is indeed a time to which many of us look forward. Students (and parents) anticipate a break from school, and many of us take time for vacations and other breaks from our routines. The age-old question that pastors and church treasurers and other congregational leaders worry about is whether people will also take a break from church.
I recently came across the story of Pachomius, an Egyptian soldier serving in the Roman army in the Fourth Century A.D. Pachomius became a Christian and after serving in the army, he did what many serious believers who wanted to dedicate their lives to God did in that day. He became a hermit, living alone in the desert, fasting and praying. But after a while, as he was striving to become a more faithful Christian, he began to question his lifestyle:
How can you learn to love if no one else is around?
Can you learn humility if you are living alone?
Is it possible to learn patience, kindness, or gentleness in isolation?
According to Christianity Today, Pachomius realized that in order to develop spiritually, you needed to be part of a community. He abandoned his life as a hermit and formed one of the first communal monasteries. “To save souls,” Pachomius said, “you must bring them together.” And I would paraphrase that to say, “To have a strong, healthy congregation, we need to gather together as a community.” If you take a break from church during the summer months, you miss out on opportunities to be a part of that community and to have the Spirit use that community to shape you.
We all hope for time to rest and relax during the summer, and many of us will enjoy trips together with family and friends. But don’t forget that we will still gather for worship each and every Sunday this summer. It’s an important time to gather together to worship, to build up one another, to enjoy fellowship as we strengthen existing relationships and forge new ones, and to grow in our faith and in our relationship with God. If you are in town and it’s a Sunday, I hope you will join us as we gather together as a community here at Cross of Life.
by Pastor David Rogers