Ah-h-h-h! Sweet summer time is here! School is out! Daylight hours are much longer! Shivering has ended! The winter rat race is over--and we don't have to hassle the kids about their homework assignments.

And immediately begins . . . the summer rat race. T-ball. Softball. Baseball. Soccer. Swimming lessons. Tennis. Youth camps. Fishing. Camping. Going to the lake for boating and skiing. Float trips. And that is just the kids' activities! Throw in some golf, tennis, and fishing for Mom and Dad, and a family vacation. The result? By August 1 we are longing again for school and fall schedules to return.

In the summer time it is even harder to attend Bible study classes and worship assemblies. The long daylight hours of Wednesdays allow time to "slip up on us." Summer activities make Wednesday nights an impossible hassle--more so than in school term when school work pushes.

Sunday morning class attendance suffers. Everyone is exhausted from overfilled Saturdays. The family cannot move fast enough to make it to Bible class. And Sunday afternoons are just too pretty to waste--you just can't do anything and get back home in time to come to a 6 p.m. assembly.

This brings us face to face with two issues. First, why attend any Bible class? Because we are told it is a religious obligation? Or is it a matter of ritual or habit? Do we score "brownie points" with God if we place our breathing but disinterested bodies in a church building while we dream about the golf course or the lake?

No. If guilt is used to coerce members to bring mindless bodies to appointed assemblies, little is accomplished. God is not honored. The person is not benefitted when his/her inattentive body is in "the right place" at the "right time" to fulfill an obligation.

Then why attend? Our lives are challenged by evil every moment in every context. Marital stability, family relationships, work world, social realities, and our futures are determined by every day by real world decisions, conduct, priorities, and perspectives. The objective of Bible classes is to discover the divine guidance that equips and encourages us in everyday life in the real world.

The second issue? Bible classes must help us with "real life" as they apply God's insights to our real world situations. We need encouragement and understanding. Bible classes exist to provide it.

Ah-h-h! It's summer time! Will you make mind and body time for study and worship?

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 1 & 8 June 1997

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