I am on vacation! Today is a very different kind of Sunday for me. On summer Sundays, by 8:15 a.m. or so, I am at church puttering around with last-minute details of the 9:00 a.m. worship service and greeting the early arrivers.
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Summer worship starts earlier in the morning, but it is no less of a worship service. When we say that things are “more relaxed” in the summer, we are not talking about any relaxation of my role in the worship service. I am fully involved in a full-fledged sermon, a fully-engaged children’s conversation, a fully-prayed pastoral prayer, and the usual multi-page worship bulletin. Other elements of worship take the summer off — Senior Choir, I’m talking to you — and the Sunday School program also takes a break. Many of the regular pews of the regular people are empty. Yes, I noticed.
Today, I was the one who slept in. This early riser, who calls getting up at 6:30 a.m. “sleeping in,” slept later than that, much later. The day has already included coffee and reading a novel on the patio and a leisurely stroll with a young loved one through a local mall in the 90+ degree heat leading to my first ever treat from Jamba Juice, a “Pomegranate Pick-Me-Up” to be exact.
Today looks forward to more pleasure reading, more coffee and more goofing off. I will check in with a couple of other loved ones, including a Skype session with my grandson. All of this is prelude to the “Wild Rumpus” that my nieces have earned by getting their homework all done. They get to set the agenda, and they have warned me that our time together will likely involve an enchilada dinner, followed by junk food, movies and a tournament of Wii games that I will surely lose as I laugh myself silly.
Holy Sabbath! Today, I am in Texas, enjoying big skies, the precious company of my loved ones, breathing deeply, and — in the nick of time, again — remembering Whose I am. And it is good, very good.