The congregation met in worship this morning for our annual campfire service. It’s always fun to share in silly songs, some serious songs and yummy S’Mores. The weather prevented us from being outside, but we still managed to enjoy a “roaring” fire with the help of YouTube. In addition to singing, several shared favorite moments from their family camp or youth camp experiences. We also talked about creating sacred space for drawing closer to God and each other.
Val B. brought the message today and challenged us with the following:
• What is it that you look forward to when you go to camp?
•Why is it that we are able to have deep spiritual experiences in a camp setting?
I’ve heard many people express how much they love our mission center campground (Glenn Wood Hills). But I wonder whether if it is the campground itself that is so special or what it represents? It represents time away from our daily lives, away from the nagging “to do” list and distractions that cam fill our time. When we drive onto the grounds, we’re apart from all of those things. We’ve set aside time to concentrate on our relationship with God. And, I believe, just as important, we set aside time to spend in deeper relationship with each other. Sometimes we get to know people we’ve never met before or people we haven’t known long or well. Other times, we’re spending time with people we are closer to, yet we can still deepen those relationships.
God is found in relationships. God is in the midst of relationships. A couple of weeks ago, we talked about spiritual practices. Last week, we talked about planting wisely. I believe that both of those discussions are pertinent to our experiences of being in relationship with one another. We can’t live our lives at Glenn Wood Hills or Graceland University, but we can find ways to create sacred space that mirrors what we felt in those places. We can create sacred space for relationships to deepen, relationships with others and with God. I challenge you to look for opportunities to do that in the coming days.
Creator God – We celebrated You today by singing fun songs, doing silly motions and laughing a lot. Thank You for small children who enthusiastically share their stories and lift their voices in song. May we remember how to be open and accepting like those children. We celebrated You today by telling stories of special moments at camps. Thank You for the times we’ve felt especially close to You. May we continue to find ways to open ourselves to Your Holy Spirit that is at work in our lives. We celebrated You today by talking about how we create sacred space. Help us to notice those around us who are yearning to be invited into that space. Help us to let go of fear and make the invitation. We celebrated You today by eating S’Mores and giving hugs. Thank You for the blessings of community and the example of Your love that is found there. Help us to share that love, when it’s easy to do and especially when it is not. In the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.