Summer is here and automatically our minds begin to think about getting outside, whether that means to our backyard or out of the country, to enjoy the sunshine. It is easy to get excited about the beautiful weather and grow lazy in our church attendance and spiritual life. Yes, God desires that we take a rest from the daily grind and enjoy His creation, but a rest without God is no rest at all: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matt 11:28). Please remember that even during the summer months our Lord Jesus is calling us to continue our spiritual growth in Him no matter where we may find ourselves. Here is a nice little story that illustrates that God doesn’t take a vacation:
Where does God go for summer vacation? A little girl I know pondered that same question not too long ago. Sarah loved Sunday School; she went every Sunday. She liked being in church with her parents… but when summer came- it would all end!
Why wasn’t there church? Why wasn’t there any Sunday School? Where did her friends go? She really was concerned. She wondered why the choir stopped singing on Sundays. Even worse, she wondered why there wasn’t church in the summer… when in actuality, her parents would just stop going to church in the summer!
The summer was their “time off”. Time to lounge in the sun. Time to plan family vacations and weekends away. It was time to concentrate on rest and relaxation. But for Sarah, it was strange not to go to church, see her friends, or be with God.
On the day that her family piled into the station wagon to visit their grandmother, Sarah asked her mother, “Mom, where does God go for summer vacation? “
Her mother chuckled at the question, and told her God doesn’t go on vacation.
Sarah wondered, “Why don’t we go to church then? Why isn’t there any Sunday School? Why don’t I get to see my church friends?”
Her parents weren’t really prepared to deal with questions like this! What could they say? After all, God wasn’t on vacation… they were! Imagine her parents’ surprise when they realized their little daughter had “stumped them.” They just didn’t know how to answer her question. But what was really great was that they were worried enough about it to look for an answer!
Until now, her parents thought: Church was only a 2-hour responsibility on Sunday mornings. For Sarah though, it was a different story. She lived what she learned. Church wasn’t just an obligation for her. No way! In fact, it was a way of living… a way of being!
-Excerpt taken from Where Does God Go for Summer Vacation?
Here are some ideas that will help you keep Christ in your summer:
Go to Church! Summer is a wonderful time to worship with your family. Attend Divine Liturgy as well the other services offered throughout the season. If you are vacationing, visit different Catholic churches. There are countless Eastern Catholic and Roman Catholic churches all over Canada and the world. To find an our parishes in Alberta visit: EdmontonEparchy.com. And to find a Catholic churches throughout the outside the country visit: Masstimes.org Don’t be afraid to ask your pastor for suggestions on where to attend. Also, don’t forget to check the calendar of the church for special fasting periods and other celebrations. Information can be found at: www.gpdormition.com
Go to Camp! Send your children to our eparichal camps. It is a great way for them to meet other children of faith and even learn something. To find a program near you visit: Summer Camps.
Take a Hike! Summer is a great time to really appreciate the beauty of God’s creation. Use the time we have wisely because summer doesn’t last long. When your out with your family, read Psalm 104, it is a beautiful poem of God’s creation. And next time you attend a Vespers service, listen for Psalm 140.
Be an Explorer! Use the summer to learn about Christ and His Church! A good place to start is the Bible. Then ask your priest about a good spiritual book he may recommend.
Help Out! Christ was a servant to all and He wants us to be the same. Consider projects you can do to help others both in your neighborhood and globally. Check with your local parish and social agencies for ideas.