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Romans 12:11 Takes Me Home

Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord.

Romans 12:2 is the theme verse for this summer, but keep reading a bit further and you hear this verse that echoes loudly to me of camp: "Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord." This takes me home to Caroline Furnace, a place where hardly a soul could be accused of "lagging in zeal." This summer's staff has energy and enthusiasm, and kids bring more zeal to camp than they bring home slag. Ardent in Spirit? It's the love that echoes through the valley, that gives the staff the passion to share Christ's love in outdoor ministry. I had the privilege of serving as volunteer chaplain for Week One (June 23-28) of camp this summer, alongside Pastor Cynthia Keyser. When I hear this verse, what comes to mind is the marvel to me that is . . . color tag. Yup, after all these years, much to my amazement, color tag still is played with the same joy and enthusiasm. "Stop! What color are you?"

It reminds me of words from G. K. Chesternton: A child always says, 'do it again,' and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning 'Do it again!' to the sun; and every evening to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but just never got tired of making them. It may be that God has the eternal appetite of a child.

Do it again! Woven in scripture is God's delight, come to life at Caroline Furnace, waking us to be ardent in spirit, not lag in zeal, and serve the Lord. 

-Rev. Brett Davis, pastor at Georgetown Lutheran Church Volunteer Chaplain, Camp Counselor 2004, 05, 08

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