Lamplighter: The Pastor's Pen

The summer months offer us at least somewhat of a break from our routines. School is out, which means a break from sitting in classrooms, from homework, and from the other responsibilities of school. It means the opportunity to travel for vacation, to visit friends and family members, and to involve ourselves with the hobbies we love. This is true, to a certain extent, for people who have no children or no connection with school. The summertime has, for many years, been seen as a time for vacation and relaxation, even if your regular job continues during the summer months. But, when September rolls around, the ‘busyness’ returns. Time for vacation and relaxation is reserved for weekends (sometimes) and holidays (also sometimes). Routines come back into place.

What is your daily routine? It probably looks like getting up and ready, going to work or school or doing chores, going home, and going to bed. Each of us has our daily routines, and they are not all exactly the same. There are more extracurricular activities for children the older they are. There are more responsibilities for adults than for children (paying bills, etc.). Part of your daily routine might even be taking care of aging parents, an ill spouse, or someone else you love. In the end, it all adds up.

September, then, is a good time to consider routines. What do you think about your daily routine? Are you happy with it? I ask, in part, because of how many times people have told me over the years that they wish that ‘church’ activities fit into their schedules. “It simply will not work,” they say. “There is too much to do, too many places to be, and we cannot afford to miss out.” Believe me, I hear you. I know firsthand how busy life can get, and I know it will only get worse as our children grow. But, I also think it is important to consider not only how the life of the Church plays into our routines, but why it may not play a bigger part in the first place. For example, how does God’s Word fit into your daily routine? I ask, because enough people have told me that they wish reading from the Bible, attending Bible studies, praying together, doing devotions at home, or even going to church on a Sunday morning was a bigger part of their lives.

What is preventing it? Be honest. We prevent it. We make choices, and, in doing so, we reveal what we truly value and treasure. I mentioned in a sermon not too long ago a convicting quote, “Show me a transcript of the words you’ve spoken, typed, or texted in the course of a day, an account of your doings, and a record of your transactions, and I’ll show you your religion” (David Dark). What is our religion? It is, by our confession, the firm trust in a God who created us by his Word, revealed himself to us by his Word, and continues to offer us his gifts of forgiveness, life, and salvation through his Word. He loved us so much that this Word became flesh and dwelt among us, giving himself for our sins and rising for our new life. Without the Word of God, we are nothing. So, what are we doing? Schedules may change and routines come and go, but one part of our lives should remain constant, set, and intact. Each and every one of us, as a part of the Body of Christ, should daily be in the Word. We should pray (our own words and God’s Word). We should encourage one another by “speaking in hymns, songs, and spiritual songs” (again, God’s Word). Because, as we believe and confess with Simon Peter, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (John 6:68)

-Pastor Squire

Psalm 145:1-2