The Pastor's Pen
Will Powers won the Indianapolis 500 and Kyle Busch the Coca-Cola 600, Memorial Day is over which means summer has arrived and it’s time for vacation. Growing up, I always anticipated two weeks at summer camp and another week plus on the family canoe trip to Boundary Waters Wilderness Canoe Area on the Minnesota-Canadian border. As you formulate plans and pack the van, I ask a simple question: are you taking your faith on vacation?
Our adversary, Satan, would certainly like to turn the question around and suggest that we take a vacation FROM faith. After all, vacation means a break from our regular routine, a change of scenery, a chance to find a new path. We’ve grown tired of the day-to-day, as Pastor Ginkel will suggest later in this newsletter, and a change of pace may be just what we need.
But let me point you to David and psalm 139. “If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me…” (verses 8-10a). God’s omnipresence, His complete authority over the entire creation is not a threat but a great comfort and an invitation.
Our faith is not localized at 302 Grove Avenue here in Tillamook or your bible rooted to the nightstand beside your bed. In fact, vacation is a great time to grow in faith as Judy Gordon suggests in her lead article. Vacation travel can be a wonderful opportunity to rejoice in God’s creation. Why not open your bible (you did pack it…right?) and read David’s color commentary in Psalm 29 as a thunderstorm rolls across the recently-discovered countryside. What place in your travels prompts you to reflect with Jacob, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven” (Gn 28.17)?
If you make a wrong turn in your travels as Reverend Seltz writes about (and it seems that our GPSs have only increased the magnitude of some of those missteps) don’t despair, instead take a moment to reflect. Pick up the story of Zacchaeus in Luke chapter 19 or maybe Paul on the road to Damascus in Acts chapter 9 and read about some redirections of life-changing proportions. Wrong turns can yield new adventures and another opportunity to take your faith on vacation.
The ultimate vacation is, of course, the resurrection which is President Harrison’s theme. In faith, by faith in our baptism we too will enjoy a full and final vacation from sin and death, suffering and sorrow. A permanent vacation in our Father’s house. Until we get there…be sure to take your faith on vacation this summer. Amen.