I didn't add sermon notes last week, because I was busy teaching Children's Church at the time of the sermon. I think that the Summer Children's Church has been a good break from the rigors of Sunday School for our children, and a chance for some of the other church members to spend a little time with our kids.
This Sunday will be a song service at Second Baptist. If you haven't been to one of our song services before, I would encourage you to come out. It is a little different. We don't have a sermon, and the service is completely run by the congregation. We have a "Praise and Sharing" time each Sunday built into our service, but this is a little more. It is a chance for us to sing, praise God, share our prayer requests and pray for each other, and just talk about what we're learning from God. Everyone is welcome, and you will surely be blessed! We will not have Children's Church, as the kids will be included in the service itself.
Did you realize that yesterday was the first day of summer? There were more hours of daylight here in the Northern Hemisphere yesterday than there will be again until next June! Most of the schools around here are finishing up this week, so the kids are getting ready for summer vacation. People are planning vacations and summer activities like cookouts and swimming. Our lives seem to slow down a little, and we enjoy the laziness of the season.
However, in the calendar year, summer is a time of great growth and vitality. It seems that every week there is a new fruit or vegetable ready for harvest. Most of us are not that close to the earth anymore. America has ceased to be an agrarian society. Most of us have jobs indoors where it doesn't matter what the weather is. Our food supply is no longer dependent on the seasons, as we can have fresh fruit from Chile even in the dead of winter!
I hope that this change in lifestyle hasn't made us complacent. I hope that even as the earth ripens her fruit in the summer sun, we continue to grow and mature in the light of the Son of God. God's church cannot afford to take a vacation. Jesus said "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (Matthew 9:37-38).
It is time to work. We cannot afford to go the way of Israel, following after our own desires and forgetting God, or we will cry like Micah " What misery is mine! I am like one who gathers summer fruit at the gleaning of the vineyard; there is no cluster of grapes to eat, none of the early figs that I crave. The faithful have been swept from the land; not one upright person remains." (Micah 7:1-2)
I encourage you to use this summer season as a time of growth for yourself, and a time to work for the kingdom of God.
"For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light ...everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. This is why it is said:
“Wake up, sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”
Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil... be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
(Ephesians 5:8, 13-16, 18-20)