Tag Archives: camping

Retreat And Go Forth

February 19, 2012
Transfiguration of the Lord Sunday
Last Sunday after Epiphany
lectionary focus: Mark 9: 2-9
props: the Youth Group teenagers

Good Morning!

Today I brought some friends to join us on the chancel steps. These guys are part of our Youth Group here at church. Soon you will be old enough to join them in their Sunday School classes, and evening activities, and retreats. Retreats are spend-the-night trips we take together to study about God’s love. Each summer we go on one of these retreats to the Montreat Youth Conference in the mountains of North Carolina. Here we join a thousand other teenagers and spend a week in this beautiful place going to church. We praise God and sing songs and hear Bible stories and talk about how we can live the life God wants us to live. Our group also stays in a little house. We play games on the porch and go hiking and play rock hopping in the creek and cook dinner together. At the end of the week, we’ve had so much fun, it’s been so perfect, that we really don’t want to come back home. We’d love to stay in that beautiful, safe, fun place forever.

It’s a lot like our Bible story today. Jesus and his friends Peter and James and John go on a camping trip to the top of this high mountain. It is beautiful and they have a lot of fun. They have such a good time there and everything seems so perfect, Peter suggests that they just stay there forever.

Vacations are great. It’s good to take a break and relax in a beautiful, exciting place, and listen to God. But we cannot hide away. God has much work for us to do. We must take what we learn on retreats and then go forward into the world in peace to share God’s love and progress His kingdom. Listen to God. And let His light shine.

Will you pray with me? (This is an echo prayer: the leader says a line and the children repeat it back.)

Dear Lord,
Thank You
for vacations.
Help me
to retreat in Your love
and then move forward
to share Your love
with the world.

We are not Christians alone. My mission is to share, inspire, and encourage.

Why Did You Bring Us Out of Egypt?

15th Sunday after Pentecost Year A
26th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Proper 21
for Sunday, September 25, 2011
lectionary focus: Exodus 17:1-7
(Note: The hardest part for the children to understand may be boredom on a car-trip. I wonder…)

Once upon a time when I was about your age, my family went on vacation. We were so excited! We were going to see cool things and do cool things and be free from the routine of home and school and work. We packed up the car with a tent, and food, and games, and we headed out to adventure. But the adventure was kind of a far drive away. And after awhile, it was hot. We were hungry. We were thirsty. We were bored. Are we there yet? We got whiney. She’s touching me! Ugh! Is this what vacation is? We were not happy.

But wait. Mom and Dad pointed out that as hot as we were, as hungry, and thirsty, and squished in the car…we were on vacation! Of course we had enough food and drinks and space. And what’s more, we were on an adventure, a journey to explore and discover and see and do all sorts of new and different and cool things. And yes, we did.  We had lots of fun! It was a great trip. After we remembered that we were on vacation.

In our Bible story today, Moses and the people of Israel are camping. God had Moses lead His people out of Egypt, out of slavery, and into freedom! Oh, the people were happy; they were dancing; they were singing. But going to the promised land was kind of a long trip. And after awhile, it was hot. They were hungry. They were thirsty. They were bored. Are we there yet? They got whiney. Why did you pull us out of slavery for this?

But wait. No matter how hot or hungry or thirsty or lost in the wilderness they felt, they were free! No longer were they being bossed around by Egyptian masters. God had provided them with a great journey, a great adventure, to explore and discover and build and be the nation of HIs people. And of course, God provided them with enough food and water and space. God takes care of the big things and the little things that we need. God had Moses tell the people: I will be standing there in front of you.  And the people of Israel remembered that they were free and God was among them.

Sometimes in life we can get lost in the yucky stuff. We can start feeling hot, and tired, and bored, and get whiney. It is easy to do. But we must remember the important thing: that even in those times, God is with you. God loves you. God takes care of the big and little things we need because He loves us. We are on a great adventure. God gives us all sorts of new and different and cool things to do and He is with us all the way!

Will you pray with me? (This is an echo prayer. The leader says a line and the children repeat it back.)

Dear Lord,

Thank You for adventures.

Thank You for freedom.

Thank You for always being with us.

Help me

to enjoy the adventure!


We are not Christians alone. My mission is to share, inspire, and encourage.