Children excitedly count the days to summer holidays. Teachers welcome the break as well. Perhaps this has never been truer than at the end of this COVID-19 school year. But teachers also recognize the challenge to learning that a two-month summer break provides.

Forbes magazine notes that children lose up to 40 percent of the gains they have made over the school year while on summer break. The “summer slide” or “summer learning loss,” reversing some of the progress students made over the year, is a well-known effect of the summer break.

Over the course of this last year, we have all been learning new lessons throughout the pandemic months. And now we look to the summer with an anticipation of new hope and relief from the ravages of COVID, while still following appropriate health guidelines. Could it be that we are at risk of a “summer slide” and losing the benefit of what we have learned during the pandemic period?

Remember again the lessons learned. As Christians, we have been released from a Sunday-centric focus to pursue a fresh Christocentric approach to life and service. We have discovered again that God is present where we live and where our people live, and that God is actively at work and inviting us to join him there.

We have learned to care for one another beyond the moments of gathered activities, intentionally connecting with one another as a shared gift and responsibility as a Christian community, rather than solely the duty of the officer/pastor. We have rediscovered our neighbourhoods and the people who are now a part of the orbit of our lives. The depth or shallowness of our discipleship efforts have been revealed, causing a needed reflection and response.

Over these summer months, let us not experience a “summer learning loss,” but revisit the lessons learned from this last year. Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and service, not avoiding worshipping together, as some do, but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big day approaching (see Hebrews 10:19-25 NIV and The Message).

Photo: shaunl/Getty Images

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