Summer is finally here. For some that means beach days and sun tans. For others, specifically the pale and fair-skinned folks among us, it means making sure to lather up the tops of our feet with sunscreen lest we’re not able to wear shoes without wincing. I’m not bitter or anything, clearly. Although I do think it’s a little unfair that some people get this deep, olive tan while I have to spend extra money to buy SPF 100 sunscreen - which is basically rebranded Vaseline - and then invest 30 minutes into covering my entire body before I go outside. But, whatever, I digress. It doesn’t really matter who you are, summer is a time to get outside and enjoy a few months of playfulness.
As good as summer is, it can also be a distraction. As soon as the thermometer breaks 60 degrees after a long winter, we all take off on various fun adventures, unraveling the rhythms we’ve established in our lives.
Consequently, summer becomes one of the most spiritually inconsistent times of the year. Church attendance is hijacked by kids’ sports. Bible reading time is replaced with morning jogs. Prayer time falls prey to the necessity of catching up on the email inbox because we decided to clock out early to grab dinner on the coast.
In short, we miss the Savior for the season. We forgo our spiritual health to enjoy the sunshine.
Of course, enjoying summer is a good thing. It’s from God (Jas 1:17)! How do we bridge the gap between enjoying the beautiful weather and pursuing spiritual revival? What are some ways that we could reclaim the summer for Christ?
Here are 3 ways to savor the Savior this summer.
Pray in the Neighborhood
One of my favorite things to do in the summer is go on walks in the evening. When the sun is cooling and the streets are settling down, there is peace that stills the chaos of the day. Walking through the neighborhood is always therapeutic, but what if it could also be spiritual? Often, we miss what God’s doing right around us. This summer, as you stroll through the streets, let it be a time of prayer for the people who live there.
- Pray for your neighbors
- Pray for a church to be planted in your neighborhood
- Pray for the Kingdom of Heaven to invade and heal the brokenness around you
- Pray that Christ would be made known on your street, in your neighborhood, and in your town
Relaunch the Bible-Reading Plan
How’s the Bible plan going that you launched in January? You’re at the halfway point of the year. Have you gotten through Leviticus yet? If you want to savor Christ this summer, relaunch a Bible reading plan. You might not be able to make it through the entire Bible in the next 6 months, but you could definitely read through the New Testament and the Psalms. Perhaps you could commit to reading the prophets and Gospels. A benefit of the summer is that the early morning time is bright and beautiful. Find a place where you can read the Bible and enjoy the serenity of the morning. Sit on the porch. Move a chair in front of the bay window. Do something that allows you to enjoy the gift of the Word and the world.
Engage a Stranger
My wife and I live in Beverly, less than a mile from the ocean. Our proximity to the beach guarantees a massive influx of people during the summer months. If I want to savor Christ, I need to tell someone about Him. The opportunities are all over the place. I simply need the courage to talk to someone. You’re going to be outside this summer, surrounded by tons of people who don’t know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Take a step of obedience and tell them about Him! Engage a stranger, ask them questions, and tell them the greatest news this world has ever known.
Before we know it, the crispness in the air will return, days will begin to shorten, and we’ll all migrate back into our homes to hunker down for the cold. The time is now to capitalize and enjoy the summer while it’s here! Don’t miss Christ in the midst of the sunshine. Find ways to grow in your faith and savor the Savior this summer.