Summer is upon us! This is the season where often the routines of the school year seem to disappear as vacations, special events and out of town guests begin to fill the calendar. With all the business it’s the season where it’s tempting to drift away from the routine of your walk with Jesus.
I wanted to share with you some of the ways, you might keep Jesus central to your life and the life of your household as your routines change this summer. Below are a few things that I try to do with my family, that always seems to reorient us back to Jesus.
▪ Joys, Junk and Jesus! This is something that I did with my family growing up. Now that my son is 4, we’ve started doing this with my family today. At dinner each day, we talk about our Joy’s of the day, the Junk of the day, and where we see Jesus working. Either in our homes, or out and about these questions, help our household refocus on the important parts of life and be an encouragement to one another. □ For Joy, we ask where did you experience joy today? What were you most excited about today? □ For Junk, we ask where did you experience junk today? What are some areas in your life that are giving you anxiety? □ For Jesus, we ask where have you seen Jesus working? Where do we have an oppor- tunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus to someone? Where do you need the grace and love of Jesus in your life?
▪ Welcome a New Neighbor! Summer is a time of moving. You might have a new neighbor move in down the street from you. Bake some cookies or drop off a veggie platter. Welcome them to your neighborhood.
▪ Listen to a Devotion on the Go! Lutheran Hour Ministries has great devotions for you on the go. You can download them via your favorite podcast app by searching “Lutheran Hour Daily Devotions,” or find them online at lhm.org/dailydevotions.
▪ Be a witness to your family! □ If you have younger family members around you might be asked to help and watch your grandkids, or your niece or nephew for a day or two this summer. Make the most of this opportunity. Ask them questions about where they see Jesus at work. Share with them how you see Jesus at work. Do a little googling and find some fun biblical crafts you can do with them to teach them a bible story. □ If you are visiting with adult family members, you can do the same thing. Ask them how they have seen Jesus working? Perhaps bring them a Portals of Prayer, devotions we have in the Narthex, or share with them a thought from a devotion you are reading.
▪ Volunteer to serve in a new way. At Messiah, the summer schedule changes a bit. It’s a great opportunity to try out serving in a new way. Often, over the summer there are many short-term opportunities to serve. Perhaps volunteer for VBS or take a few weeks and help with summer Sunday school. Join us for a one day service project. Check your bulletin for lots of ways to serve over the summer.
▪ Visit another congregation while on vacation. It’s easy to find other LCMS congregations at locator.lcms.org. Search where you are going and then go visit. It’s inspirational to see the work of the church at large across the country.
Hopefully these are a few ways you can stay connected to Jesus and His Way this summer! If you have other ideas, go ahead and do them. As you see me around, share a few of the things you are doing with your household to follow Jesus this summer.
God’s Peace, Pastor Mark