In the long days of July when the sun remains high in the sky for hours and outdoor activities abound, I think about what it means to have time for recreation. It is time for running and playing, enjoyment and leisure. It does not feel like we have to acomplish anything. We have permission to make room for something else.
Seemingly, it has little to do with the community of faith. We might protest the caricature that church is boring, citing the laughter we hear around the table together. We could mention everyone’s favorite rotation at Vacation Bible School, which is recreation. We might even point to the playground we have at the church.
Recreation has more to do with the community of faith than we realize, but not for any of these reasons. When we look at the purpose of recreation, it is about re-creation. We keep time differently during recreation in order to create something new—to re-create. There is room for connections and teamwork, renewal and enjoyment.
The community of faith helps us develop a similar rhythm, balancing our work, family, and lesiure, which makes room for re-creation. It helps us to find a different pace, so we can abide in the newness of life.
In recreation it might not seem like we are accomplishing anything, but if nothing else, our hearts and minds are free to focus on a common purpose. It gives us an opportunity to create something new.
When I hear laughter around the tables at church, watch the children running at VBS, or see the youngest among us climbing on the playground, I am reminded that we participate in re-creation together. We are keeping time differently, gathering in a separate space, and joining together for a common purpose. We are celebrating, laughing, and working together in the joy and hope of Christ. As we enjoy time for recreation, we can give thanks for the re-creation of the journey of faith.