There is a classic Seinfeld episode (for readers under the age of 30, Seinfeld was a popular sitcom on NBC in the 1990s. Also for said young readers, NBC stands for the National Broadcasting Company, one of the four major networks that we folks relied upon for the majority of our television viewing before the dawn of Netflix and other streaming services. Silly older people.) Where was I? Oh yeah, Seinfeld. In this episode, Jerry’s buddy, George Constanza, has broken up with his girlfriend and declared the summer, “The Summer of George!” By this George meant that he was going to do whatever he felt like doing. He was going to make the summer all about him. By “Summer of George” he meant, Summer of Selfishness.
I thought of this when I thought about this summer of 2019 and some of the things that you all have been doing. Your summer has been different. It hasn’t been selfish. In fact, the opposite. So many of you have been doing amazing things with your summer. In June a group of you went down to Washington D.C. and brought food and clothing with you to give to the homeless. In July, so many of you gave a week of your time and energy to Vacation Bible School. In both June and July some of you served as counselors at church camp for kids and young adults. As I write this, some of you are in Mexico building a house for a family in need and ministering to kids in Ensenada. All summer long some of you have been serving at Backyard Club and Dinner Church at Evergreen Manor in Altoona.
These are just the obvious things I know of. I know there are many other ways that you are serving your community. You took time off work. You sacrificed pay and vacation time. You stepped out of your comfort zone when you could have just taken more vacation and stayed in your beach chair. Don’t get me wrong. Vacation is good. I took one. We all need one. But five vacations per year won’t give us purpose and meaning to our lives. Only God and His Kingdom purpose can do that. And that’s what I hear from you, how much you have been blessed by God through these experiences. This truly has been The Summer of Mission!
But Mission is not a season. Mission is not a trip. Mission is our purpose. The Church always has a mission. In fact, We are a Mission. And the question now is, What Next?
As we move into Fall and Winter, how will we continue to be the Mission of God and Make Disciples of Jesus and Create Community? I could point you to a lot of great programs and events we support (and I hope you will support them), but let’s remember that we don’t need a program to make disciples. We just need faith and obedience. How will you allow God to use you this month and this year?
“So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest-time, if we do not give up.” Galatians 6.9
See you in worship (and in mission),