The existence of “Summer’s Best Two Weeks” traces back, in two ways, to Wednesday’s scripture passage in the One Minute Bible. First, we would have no reason to worship Jesus, nor a desire to tell campers about Him if He had died and stayed in the grave. Who would want to worship a dead person who wasn’t who he claimed to be?
Consider the second way as you read the following excerpt from a document our camp founder wrote called “Jim’s Story”:
“When I was a senior, our running team went to a church meeting on a Sunday night near Easter. That night is very vivid in my mind. To this day I remember the Pastor’s opening story, then he read I Corinthians 15:12-15.
“Now if Jesus Christ is preached as raised from the dead, how can some say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testify of God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise if the dead are not raised…”
He explained that night…
Either Jesus Christ was raised from the dead, or, he was not raised from the dead.
Either Jesus Christ is alive now, or, He is not alive.
Either I know Him, or, I do not know Him.
Either I am a Christian, or, I am not a Christian.
I thought this was the most AMAZING thing I had ever heard. But I was a senior. There were lots of things going on. In about three days…I had buried these thoughts.
About three months later I was working for my high school coach as a junior counselor at a camp. About two weeks into the summer my senior counselor was taken to the hospital with a lung infection. I was alone in a cabin of 8 nine-year-olds. At bedtime one boy asked if I was going to read to them like Paul does. I had no idea what Paul was reading. Joris Brinkerhoff crawled up on Paul’s bunk, pulled out his Bible, and he opened and pointed to where Paul was reading. I read that passage…I Corinthians 15:12-15. Again, I understood what I read. After reading, according to custom, we ended the day with the Lord’s Prayer. By that time most had fallen asleep. I walked to my bed, looked up and said, “Lord, whatever you want with my life, you can have it.””
Jim would return to that camp for the next few summers during college to share with campers how Jesus is not dead, but alive.
After college, Jim found himself following the Lord’s leading to seminary, followed by taking a youth pastor position at a church in New York. It was there, in Syracuse in 1966, that “Summer’s Best Two Weeks” came to be. This year is the 51st summer of Christian college students attesting to the truth of 1 Corinthians 15:20 “But now Christ has been raised from the dead…” and we want our campers to have an authentic relationship with this Living One!