|The Rev. Da Vita D. McCallister is Associate Conference Minister for Youth and Young Adult Ministries for the Connecticut Conference, UCC.|
by Rev. Da Vita D. McCallister
Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, making the most of the time, because the days are evil. So do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit, as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, singing and making melody to the Lord in your hearts, giving thanks to God at all times and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We have come to the end of another Silver Lake Summer and I can’t think of a wiser thing to do, than to give Thanks to God! Each summer our Co-Directors Tim and Anne Hughes, year round staff, summer staff, deans and a host of counselors provide an opportunity for children and youth to sing songs and make melody to God. I know because I have the privilege of witnessing it.
As I read this text it seems tailor made for the beloved community that is Silver Lake. It admonishes us to “make the most of our time,” we only have 1 week conferences at Silver Lake. It reminds us not “to be drunk with wine”, just one of the Silver Lake Rules, right next to no pets and no fireworks. It speaks of “psalms, hymns and spiritual songs,” which is kind of life the social hall during meals. It even captures our nightly worship with the line about “Giving Thanks to God at all times.”
But the beginning offers a bit of a caution, “Be careful then how you live.” I often hear folks say that they are “the best version” of themselves when they are at Silver Lake. They are kinder and gentler, event to their siblings, they help to keep the place they love clean by doing dishes and cleaning the Freds (the bathrooms) and they attend a worship service everyday for a week. Here is where we have to be “careful” because the goal of Silver Lake is to give us the experience of God’s Beloved Community so we can duplicate in our real world experience. It would be unwise to leave the best of ourselves in Sharon, when God is in need of our BEST SELF in the world at large.
If we live this life wisely, we can encounter to joyful love of God wherever we are.
Living God, thank you for Silver Lake. Thank you for the Staff, Deans and Counselors and this beautiful place. Help me to live as my Best Self, no matter where I am. I pray all of this in your name. P.S. Please help others to come to know the joy that is Silver Lake, your backyard. Amen.
This reflection was originally published in the weekly Spirit Calendar on August 13, 2012. Subscribe to the Spirit Calendar here.