Wednesday, July 3, 2013
What If You Can't Attend Church During Your Vacation?
We are already halfway through the summer and this is about the time that many families go on vacation. If you have already taken one, I hope it was a restful and joyous vacation. For those who have taken one yet, I hope it will be a great one with not too many headaches from the kids asking, "Are we there yet?" That is why portable DVD players and Nintendo DS are a sign of God's common grace.
As you plan your vacation, perhaps the last thing on your mind is attending a church service. You love the church you are apart of and you really do not want to miss a service but what if you are unable to. For example, what if your vacation is visiting family in another state and you only see them once or twice a year, plan a big family function that the only day that can happen is Sunday. Perhaps you are on a cruise ship (hopefully not one that will leave you stranded in the middle of the ocean) and you are no where near a church on Sunday.
Let me offer a few thoughts on this matter:
First, do not be legalistic. The Bible does say we should not forsake gathering together (Heb. 10:25) but just because you missed a Sunday, it does not mean God is going to love you any less than he will if attended a worship service on vacation. Now if you attend a church where the pastor requires you to give him a bulletin from a church you were at while on vacation, find another church.
Second, if you are capable to do this, watch a sermon on your iphone or tablet. Many churches have apps where you listen to their sermons while you are on vacation. I do not recommend you watch the TV preachers. I did that on one vacation and...well...that did not go well.
Third, remember that your time of rest on your vacation is an act of worship to God. Take time to read your Bible and read a few good books if you are able to. If you e-books, this will be a perfect time to catch up on some reading.
Fourth, pray for your church while you are away. Be eager to hear what God did while you were away and rejoice for them. Do not regret missing out.
Finally, remember the gospel. The gospel tells us our acceptance is based on what Christ did for us not what we do for God which includes going to church on vacation. God's grace is still on you and he has not taken his Spirit from you.