The temptation to skip church is always stronger in the summer, with its travel, heat and slower pace. But we’re called to observe the Sabbath in all seasons of the year, and this summer I encourage you to attend Sunday worship either at Summit or at a church where you may be traveling. For inspiration, I offer two readings: a letter to church leaders from a bishop of the early church, and a poem by Emily Dickinson. The first is encouragement to attend worship with the Body of Christ; the second – to worship at home. I hope you’ll do both! Wishing you the blessings of a restful and enjoyable summer.
Grace and Peace,
When you are teaching, command and exhort the people to be faithful to the assembly of the church. Let them not fail to attend, but let them gather faithfully together. Let no one deprive the Church by staying away; if they do, they deprive the body of Christ of one of its members!
For you must not think only of others but of yourself as well, when you hear the words that our Lord spoke: “Who does not gather with me, scatters” (Matt. 12:30). Since you are the members of Christ, you must not scatter yourselves outside the Church by failing to assemble there. For we have Christ for our Head, as he himself promised and announced, so that “you have become sharers with us.”
Do not, then, make light of your own selves, do not deprive our Savior of his members, do not rend, do not scatter his Body! The Didascalia of the Apostles – Second Century
Some keep the Sabbath going to Church –
I keep it, staying at Home –
With a Bobolink for a Chorister –
And an Orchard, for a Dome –
Some keep the Sabbath in Surplice –
I just wear my Wings –
And instead of tolling the Bell, for Church,
Our little Sexton – sings.
God preaches, a noted Clergyman –
And the sermon is never long,
So instead of getting to Heaven, at last-
I’m going, all along. Emily Dickinson