A Sunday Kind of Love

Blog / Produced by The High Calling
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As I remember the Sabbath of my childhood, white-gloved women in Sunday-go-to-meeting dresses, hats, and shoes flood my mind. And men in stiff-as-a-board starched shirts, their best jackets and pants, and spit-shined shoes. Everyone made their presence known as they dressed up for God. Children came neat and clean, to be seen and not heard—unless you were in the children's choir or told to speak.

For all churchgoers, Sunday was a day of rejoicing, reflection, renewal of relationships, and remembering commitment to God and all His people. Worship and family gatherings were expected and honored. Ordinary meals turned into feasts, and wide front porches held all the bodies willing to share their joys, sorrows, and histories. Throughout the community, window signs obeyed the "blue law" and mutual respect for this day of rest; washing, ironing, and regular employment was suspended.

What does the Sabbath mean now? I cannot speak for others; yet I often think I am not doing all that I should do on the Sabbath. My goal is to rest, reflect, remember, and renew my commitment to God and His work; but I have found myself shopping for things that were not life or death necessities. I get caught up in what I think others need me to do. As I struggle to graciously and firmly say "No" to what feels like non-Sabbath activities, I self-impose guilt trips. I look back on those times and see the ugly truth that I cannot be the best possible me without this time to rest, reflect, remember, and renew. It is when I worship and rest on that seventh day that my week seems to have greater meaning.

Then I am a more empathic listener, a better teacher, a more enthusiastic learner, and an improved support person for members of my family and community—even for strangers along the way.

I acknowledge the truth put forth in John 14:6: "I am the way, the truth, and the life." How easy to ignore this knowledge or put it aside in my crazy pace of everyday living. When we were children, my mother would tell us we were moving right past ourselves in our coming and going. Even in childhood the whirlwind pace felt uncomfortable; in adulthood, a hurry-scurry schedule defeats my desire to be spiritually, mentally, physically, and creatively well.

When I was in Africa, church services began on Fridays at sundown and continued throughout the weekend. Time was made for everyone to worship. As it was explained to me, the Sabbath was not just a Sunday kind of love—it was an everyday, every minute consciousness of the presence of God.

As my definition of Sabbath expands, I am especially grateful for John's words in Revelation 1:10: "I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day . . ."