If we are God’s people, we won’t want to leave Him behind when we take a break from the daily grind.
The bags are packed. Your airline tickets in hand…you’re taking a family fun flight to the coast. Or…the sleeping bags are rolled, tent stakes located and you have enough spray to repel every mosquito in North America – you are SO prepared for family camping.
Wherever you are off to, whatever your vacation agenda, have you considered a plan for worship while you are away from home?
It was a bumper sticker that prompted this line of thought. The convicting words read,” God doesn’t take a vacation from you – don’t take one from Him!” Hmmm…that’s a worthy sentiment, but it leans a bit heavy on the law for a “fun” topic like vacation, doesn’t it?
Quick analysis – vacation is fun, and for many, a chance to get away from daily or weekly routine. For many families, going to church is part of that routine. So the question is raised, “Is it wrong to skip church on vacation?”
To answer that query honestly requires looking at church and what is means to the Christian. Here are few points to consider:
- Church is where, as Christians, we go to receive God’s gifts of Word and Sacrament – do we want to miss out on gifts just because we are traveling?
- If God is our refuge and strength (Psalm 46:1) – that can be something worth packing for any trip!
- Regular participation in church services is one of the disciplines of the healthy Christian life, do we leave our other health good routines (teeth brushing, daily jog, taking vitamins) behind when we vacation?
If we are God’s people, we won’t want to leave Him behind when we take a break from the daily grind. When you have decided to include worship as part of your vacations, consider incorporating these easy strategies:
- Consider visiting a church near your vacation spot. There are over 6,000 Lutheran Church Missouri Synod congregations across the United States. Find one easily at: locator.lcms.org. Going beyond borders? There are 37 Lutheran denominations around the world in partnership with the LCMS (learn more at http://www.lcms.org/page.aspx?pid=1372).
- If there no church nearby, the quarterly booklet Portals of Prayer provides daily devotions and a simple format for family worship. Offer My Devotions to children during long rides or flights. Current copies of Portals of Prayer and My Devotions are available free at Trinity, or may be purchased on line at cph.org.
- Vacations are a natural opportunity to pull God directly into every activity. Thank God for new experiences as you enjoy man-made marvels or His beautiful creation. Pray for safe travel and the well-being of those at home. Even the youngest children can start each day with, “Dear Jesus, while we’re on the road, protect us and our precious load. Keep our loved ones safe and sound, even while we’re not around.”
And finally, remember even Jesus took time away from the crowds and His ministry (Mark 6:30-32, John 4:6). When you plan your family getaway, remember that vacations and worshiping God can actually go quite well together.
Trinity welcomes vacationing visitors year round. If you are a visitor to Trinity, please introduce yourself on the way in and out of church and know that Trinity’s people are glad you have come to worship.