Saturday, September 29, 2012
Another Sunday is almost here. As long as I can remember Sunday has been regarded as a different day, a day that somehow belongs to God in a way that transcends the way every day belongs to Him. Perhaps, some of my earliest recollections had more to do with the things not done on Sunday than the way a Sunday should correctly be observed. Early on I was told by my fisherman Father that you did not fish on Sunday. "The fish should have a day of rest." Others told me Sunday movies were taboo and that anything which smacked of fun could wait until another day. Some people could crank up lawnmowers and fix up the yard, but no such thing would have even been given consideration where I lived. In my life shaping years, shopping was not regarded as appropriate activity because it encouraged someone to work on Sunday.
As a boy growing up in South Georgia it often seemed there was not much that could be done on Sunday except go to church, once in the morning and then again at night. The rest of the time doing nothing was the thing to do. Rest was the name of the game. However, Sunday was a time for visiting extended family in the afternoon which was not such a bad thing and making visits to the cemetery to visit the graves of those who had gone on before us.
Out of all this I came to have a high regard for Sunday. I realize today that I am still influenced by some of the things which were more cultural than scriptural, but I also have come to a place of knowing that having a day set aside for worship is a good thing. I need a day that is set aside as a day that is different than all the rest. I need a day to experience what I have come to understand as Sabbath rest. I need a day for gathering with others who go to a place of worship to share in lifting up a common expression of faith in Christ. It is a day which not only transcends the others, but shapes them as well.