Hey there friends!
It’s Friday, which means it’s blog day - the day I get to share some encouragement, occasional insights, and the rare deep thought that could leave us all confused. But hey - at least we can be confused together, right?
But seriously, I hope these blog posts inspire you to think and act more like Jesus.
Today, I want to share how play has a lot to do with following Jesus - our discipleship.
I used to think that fun and play was only for kids and that following Jesus as an adult had to be super serious 110% of the time. No time to waste. Don't smile, too much. The obligatory "hi" and "fine" were good enough. I mean, following Jesus was all about digging into deep bible passages and pondering how God really works. Worship had to be scripted and set on a schedule. Prayer time needed to be regimented. And fun? Nope. Fun was at best a distraction and at the worst, evil.
By this point, you might be thinking, "wow, you were super lame". The truth is. . . I was. (Some say I still am!)
A friend pointed the truth out to me... I was a Christian. But, I was not a fun person to be around.
When I think about Jesus, he had to be a fun guy. He was always at parties. He turned water into wine. He was invited to dinner parties at Tax Collectors homes. He always had crowds seeking him out. The gospels tell Jesus’ story as if he was one of the most fun guys to be around. Now, compare Jesus to the Romans or the church leaders of his day who didn’t seem all that fun at all.
Here’s my point - Jesus knows that having fun (or play) is a big part of following Him with other people.
It’s through times of having fun together over a meal, a day outing, a weekend trip, a week at summer camp, a few days on retreat, or a multiple week mission immersion or trip where we both experience the joy of Jesus’ presence being fun and bond with the people God has placed around us to enjoy as we follow Jesus together.
Several years ago, a cousin on my wife, Beth’s side of the family got me interested in the life and writings of John Wesley. Interestingly enough, John Wesley once said, “There is no holiness apart from social holiness.” While some people may think he’s talking about social justice. He’s not. He’s talking about how playing together brings a sense of the divine. When we set aside time to play with others, we actually honor the time God has given us by doing the things Jesus did with His time. Things like eating and laughing with sinners; spending days sailing across lakes with his closest friends; getting away on mountaintops, walking through gardens and valleys, sharing a supper in the upper room, and eating fish and chips on the shore after his resurrection.
So here’s something to think about:
Drop me a note and let me know. And in the meantime… keep playing!
Love you guys.
PS: When we see each other again face-to-face, let's share a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy being together. What do you say?
Meet Pastor Tim
Tim Bayer has served as Our Savior's Lead Pastor since September 2019. He also serves as an Adjunct Instructor at Concordia University - Irvine, a National Leadership Facilitator and Resource, and a Community Mental Health First Aid Instructor. Tim studied sociology, psychology, and theology prior to earning his M.Div at Concordia Seminary - St. Louis. He has also is a candidate for an Ed.D (ABD) in Transformational Leadership. He is married to Beth and they have three young children. Together, they enjoy exploring the outdoors, experiencing culture, and pizza and movie nights.