I suspect that all my life Sunday has been a special day.
For the past 30+ years of ministry (actually it’s feels closer to 100…)… my Sunday morning has a routine that involves rising earlier than normal. Generally I just tell myself to get up early the night before and around 4am I start rolling out of bed. Even when church does not start till mid-afternoon, I still get up early. In the summers of Alaska, the sun would be up for a long time before I got up. In the winters of Alaska, I would beat the sun up by half a day!
After breakfast and coffee I retire to my study (kitchen table, living room or office) and begin to polish my Sunday message. It used to be that included printing, but over the past few years I acquired an iPad and now everything is on a screen. This sure makes it easy to update on the fly and have a good copy to transfer back to my laptop for storage.
Every so often a Sunday morning comes around where I do not get to preach. This is not one of them. I prepared throughout the week, polished yesterday, and finalized this morning. Regardless, I always look forward to church. This is a word from the Greek, essentially meaning “called out” and often used to indicate the congregation of called out ones that are believers. It is only used twice by Jesus, but over 100 times in the remainder of the New Testament, mostly by Paul.
Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16:17-19 NKJV)
The Jews were used to regular attendance to their temple or synagogue. Every Saturday was regular worship time, and many times during the week the men would go for early prayer and kids would go for teaching and training. Their “church” was a very real part of their daily living.
It seems in America we are losing this touch to the House of God. Jesus did not command it, but the beckoning life outside of the church demands it. Where Wednesday nights used to be reserved for the church going America, it is now full of mind numbing distractions to keep our attention off of God.
It’s been raining outside. A light wind has knocked most of the leaves off the Ash at the back porch. The cats are ready to be fed. The dogs are anxious. The day is starting in full swing. Some will hold back due to weather, sports, sickness, or just sleeping in late. Some will allow the priority of afternoon activities keep them home, or rushing out of service to participate in their own desires.
Regardless… Sunday is here, church is soon, and I’m ready!