Ah, Summer! The time of family road trips, camping, getaways and days at the beach. Have you ever considered what church you will worship at when you are on vacation? When you get away this summer, I strongly encourage you to find a faithfully confessing Lutheran Church located close to your vacation destination. We should never “take a vacation” from church (See the 3rd Commandment and it’s meaning in Luther’s Small Catechism). In fact, true rest is found in our Lord Jesus as He tells us, “Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28-30). Along with eternal rest in our forgiveness of sins going to a faithful church on vacation can encourage you in your faith walk. What a joy it is to meet Christians who believe the same as you, who confess the same as you, and who worship the same as you. You will discover different ministries and ways to show mercy to our neighbors that you can bring back to St. Paul’s as ideas to implement here. You will see beautiful Church art in the sanctuary that will inspire you to consider how our sacred space at St. Paul’s can be beautified.
My family and I have found church visiting on vacation a time of spiritual encouragement and we have forged friendships for life through our visits to sister congregations of the LCMS. One such encounter led me to forge a relationship with a brother pastor who has become a mentor for me in my beginning year in the ministry. We don’t often think about how our reception of God’s gifts in Divine Service can be an encouragement to others. Your visit to another congregation will be equally uplifting and encouraging for the saints of God who call that church “home”. They will be encouraged to hear of your church and of the work that God is doing in Sac City by His Almighty Word and Sacraments. Consider staying for bible class with your family to allow time for conversation and for diving into God’s Word.
There is no place like your home church and her familiar pews, but dearly beloved, there are places that are very similar. This is the beautiful advantage of our nation wide Synod (and international relationships beyond America). You will feel at home in the house of the Lord, no matter where you are.
One place to find a faithfully, confessional, Lutheran parish is: https://www.lutheranliturgy.org/. This website lists parishes just like ours at St. Paul’s. Faithful to the Scriptures in our preaching and historic in our order of service. Just type in your desired destination and view the listings. This website is growing and expanding within LCMS circles and is a great resource when you are away from St. Paul’s. If your summer destination does not have a listing on Lutheran Liturgy, check out the LCMS Church Locator at https://locator.lcms.org/church.
May the Lord God protect you in your travels as His Holy Angels travel with you, protecting you. When you rest and get away from Sac City, make sure to rest in God’s Word as well.