Scripture: I John 4:7-12

I saw my niece and nephew, on Lara’s side of the family, this Thanksgiving. They both were excited to inform me that they were registered to attend a camp session at Glen Lake Camp this coming summer. We talked about that some and all the wonderful experiences one can have at Glen Lake. I told them about hiking the mountain, swimming in the Splash and Crash water theme park, about fishing, making new friends, being led by great summer staffers, and on and on the list goes. There is something fun and exciting about the experience of summer camp at Glen Lake. I am pleased and grateful that their parents see the great value in offering them such an opportunity for such an experience.

What I didn’t tell them was about those indescribable experiences that are orchestrated by God that are a part of the Christian community here. It is those intimate moments when you feel the presence of God in the discussion in your small group, or the singing in worship, or as God speaks directly to your heart as the preacher preaches that are the real shaping and forming work God does in and through the vital, life changing experience of summer camp at Glen Lake. I remember reading the witness of such experiences in last year’s evaluations from the students who attended. My daughter, Brittney, best described it in a letter she mailed home to me from Glen Lake when she was ten. She closed the letter out by saying, “I hope this week never ends!”

The experience of God at camp is like that. As you live into the week time seems to stand still. The food tastes a little better, the sun seems to always be shining, everyone seems to get along, the worship seems alive, the moments seem to have meaning, and the the people are so accepting and loving. God’s love is present because as John says such love is alive in you and all those who are there. I give God thanks that my niece and nephew are coming to experience such loving. Because it is the greatest gift of all!!!

Much grace always,

I John 3:1