We Are About Relationships
You don’t need me to tell you that summer is here. It’s HOT. And it has been for a while. Even though nature seemed eager for summer to begin early, our calendars are just now making the switch. For some of us, summer means a complete change in routine, with kids out of school, college students headed home, classrooms packed up. For others, summer is more of the same, maybe with a slightly slower pace and a precious day off here or there.
But for the young people of our church, this summer is a special opportunity for intense spiritual growth. After months of focusing on schoolwork, TCAP’s, exams, and sports competitions, they have a chance to intentionally turn towards God in ways unique to our summer schedules. Our youth with travel around the southeast serving God, loving God’s people, and learning about their place in God’s world through Choir Tour, Heifer Ranch and Camp Barnabas. Our kids will strengthen relationships with God and with each other through Vacation Bible School, overnight church camps at Cedar Crest and Barefoot Republic, and Choir Camp. It’s a chance for them to – as our Vacation Bible School curriculum encourages us – DARE TO GO DEEP WITH GOD.
During Operation Overboard VBS, we will sing, craft, eat, explore and splash our way through five key encounters with God set in the water. We’ll spend some time hanging out with Noah on his ark; we’ll meet Naaman the leper and the servant who helped wash him clean; we’ll wade in the waters of baptism with John the Baptist; we’ll fish alongside the very first disciples, Simon, James and John; and we’ll journey through the perfect storm and shipwreck with Paul – perhaps even alongside the apocryphal character of Captain Jay Flint!
But, of course, this opportunity to grow is not limited to the kids! And neither is it limited to Vacation Bible School! God will be speaking all summer long! Let’s listen together for ways in which God could be calling YOU into the deep waters. Perhaps there is a situation in which you need to depend fully on God like Noah. Or maybe there’s someone just out of your comfortable reach for whom you can dare to care like the servant girl who helped Naaman the leper? Is there a new way that you, like John the Baptist, can proclaim Jesus in your tired relationships? Or maybe it’s time for you to make a conscious choice to follow Jesus like his disciples instead of asking him to tag along with you? And who in your day to day world may be waiting for you to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with them, as Paul did throughout his missionary journeys?
If the past few weeks are any indication, we are in for a long, HOT summer. What better way to cope with it – and even grow through it – than by diving into the deep, cool waters of faith and soaking in the depths of God’s love for you and for the world. That’s what our kids will be doing – I hope and pray that you will be, too.
Peace and sunshine,
*It’s not too late to sign up for VBS – either as a participant or as an adult or youth leader! Visit dev.christumcfranklin.org and click on the VBS banner at the top to get started!