Lately, I’ve been reading much on Sundays. I guess I’ve paid attention more and more, with each passing year, because of the way Sundays have been secularized and marginalized over the course of the last few decades. Now, we are at a place where Sundays are used for just about everything other than Worship, other than gathering with God’s people, other than being a sacred day of physical and spiritual refreshment.
There are people who might reason or think: “We’ll, you are a pastor, and Sunday is your work day.” Or, “Isn’t that a bent way to look at it? You surely don’t know how busy I am, or how tired I am, or how many tasks I must get done on Sunday before the week starts.” Ok, I hear you – if those are your sentiments. It doesn’t mean I agree with them though. And that’s not being unsympathetic to your “life” situations, rather, it’s taking God’s view and vision more seriously, and to heart.
As Hal Seed writes in his book, I Love Sundays, “God wants Sundays to be the best day of your week and the Sunday worship service to be the best hour of your day.” I believe many (if not most) take and view their Sundays with the wrong perspective. You see, it gets tied in with the weekend and is normally a “non-work” day for those who work M-F. So with work, commutes, kids, sports, school events, grocery shopping, meal prep, doctor’s appointments, house cleaning, yard mowing, general maintenance, home projects, and other things: Sundays get lost in the mix. In fact, Sundays become a day of “catch-up” and “football” and “shopping” and really, in all transparency, “laziness.” How do I know that? – Because I once did those same things and took that same standard.
Sundays, though, begin the week! It is the first day of the week when we can pause and make our first priority of the week worshiping God as His people. It’s a day when we should say: Lord, my will may be to stay home, to stay in bed, to do as little as possible, and to eat. But in it all, may Your will be done. Help me make this day, Your day, the sabbath day – a day spent with You.
Then, you just need to pray it will start a pattern as you remain focused on God. You can believe me: the enemy will throw every excuse, every reason at you as to why you deserve the day…as to why you should stay home…as to why you don’t need to worship. A lot of times – it begins long before Sunday morning ever rolls around. But occasionally, it will become paramount just a few hours before: things get chaotic, people have to actually wake up, kids don’t want to go, and when a spouse isn’t exactly supportive.
Pushing through can be (and often will be) very delicate. But do it. Do it in love and with great expectation. Pray deeply. Pray long. Pray passionately. God will meet you there. But I believe as you step out on faith and as you trust Him, He will honor that. Nothing worthy of God and His Kingdom is easy – but it is worth it. Again, may His will be done!
And this is the way your approach should be in coming to worship. Come in both anticipation and expectation. Not because you “have” to, but because you “get” to. You are invited to be a part of something MUCH bigger than yourself. Much greater than anything we, collectively as people, could ever produce. You are invited in to God’s House, to His people, and most importantly: Into His very presence. That, in and of itself, should be and must be taken seriously.
I like how Hal Seed (mentioned earlier) captures this. He digs into the whole perspective of Sunday. You see, many have the wrong motives. But he reminds us: “The key to a great Sunday isn’t the preacher – the service – or the people. The key to a great Sunday, is you.” What are you missing out on? What are you selling yourself short on? How could Sundays be better than they are now?
Come and be a part of what God has set apart, and ordained, for your Sunday.
In prayer, with hope, in He Who is worthy…