Summertime features a lot of family vacations, travel, slowing of routines, and laziness. Mention the word summer and most people begin to imagine the beach, cool drinks, and anything but the “normal” routine. All too often, Christians imagine “breaks” from their churches and spiritual devotions. They travel and vacate and they take a holiday from Jesus. Somehow we manage to rationalize by saying, “I’m on vacation,” as if Jesus isn’t Lord while we’re “on vacation,” as if Jesus didn’t afford us the vacation, as if He can’t return while we’re on vacation. I’ve even seen this attitude happen at religious holidays like Christmas and Easter!

So, this morning, I thought an exhortation from John Piper’s letter to Bethlehem was appropriate reminder of what to keep first during all the busyness and vacating that most of us will do this summer. It’s the concluding paragraph from a letter updating the congregation on succession and other plans being prayed for at Bethlehem.

Here is my request to you all as I am away for the next several weeks on writing leave and then vacation. Be faithful to your church. If this is your church love her. Support her with your prayers and your giving (we are within $5,000 of where we were last year at this time, but $200,000 below our $9.7 million dollar budget). People come and go during summer. That’s good. God loves to see his people getting the rest and recreation they need. But don’t go on vacation from Jesus and his people. Keep worshiping wherever you are, keep giving, keep praying, keep loving. God has amazing things in mind for us as we enter this next chapter together.

It’s good to take vacations and rest. The Lord gives His saints rest. But our souls find rest in God alone. We mustn’t forget that because it’s summer and we’re “on vacation.”