Summer is a time when many church activities come to a halt. Vital year-long times of fellowship such as mid-week Bible studies or Sunday evening services might stop because of fewer people being able to attend and the difficulty of finding people to lead. For many families, this can be a welcome time to focus on each other and to relax during a family vacation.
For others, the summer break can be excruciatingly lonely. The vital times of fellowship cease and this is keenly felt. One young woman I know lived in a home where her parents actively persecuted her for her faith. Throughout the year they would mock her, watch explicit programs on TV, come into her room to disturb her when she read her Bible, and make ultimatums between them and the Lord. Being encouraged and edified at church was a lifeline for her throughout the year. Periods when church activities stopped, such as summer vacation, were a nightmare.
There are many in our churches who live in difficult circumstances. Some examples I think of are women married to unbelievers, singles, widows, the divorced, and women married to unloving Christian men. How can we be full of care for our fellow believers during vacations?
Caring for Each Other
Families can invite those who are alone to come and visit. Friends can go and drink coffee together. Those who are alone at home might appreciate a visit. I know of one family who took a young widow on vacation with them. Even texting to say that you are thinking about someone, or sending a card, can mean a lot to that person. When appropriate we can pray with the person and read the Bible, thereby encouraging each other in the Lord.
A Care-Full Summer
Summer can be a great time for families to reconnect. The slower pace of church activities is often welcomed by many. It is also a time when we can pray and think about how we can care for our church family, understanding that it can be a time of isolation and loneliness for some. Showing care and love at such times can be a tremendous blessing.