Sunday. The Lord's Day. A day of rest. These titles run through my mind as I sit here and contemplate our day. I fully believe this is a day that should be set aside for worship and rest. Yet, I struggle with confusion about what that means. Is rest, rest? Or is it running around wildly, trying to wrangle your family into a preset schedule? Maybe it is planning which outfits each person in your family will wear as you attempt to appear "proper" in front of the others at church (who you know will take note of what you are wearing). It must mean making sure there is a large spread of hot and delicious, home-made food ready for your family within 30 minutes of arriving home from church. I know, I am being facetious, but how many times is that what I end up doing? Ahh----most of the time. As a mother, Sunday has never seemed at all restful to me.
Please don't misunderstand me. I do realize that there is a certain amount of this that must take place. Schedules are good, to a point. Everyone should be dressed. Overall, it will be a more restful day if bellies are filled at some point. But so much of what I do is to meet a standard I have in my mind of what a Sunday should be. My mother always managed to do all of these things, and do them well. Therefore, I should too. Shouldn't I?
Since moving to a city which is filled with extremely large churches, we have been attending one such church. Neither my husband nor I has been completely at peace in that church. No, it is not a bad church. However, there are some issues we have concerns about. We noticed that the attitude toward family worship really has nothing to do with family. Children are parcelled out to various classes according to grade for both Sunday School and morning and evening worship. On Wednesday evening it is the same situation again. My youngest child would come home talking about what Disney movie she saw that day in church. Now that's a lightbulb moment!
These past three weeks, we have chosen to step back from the situation and worship together in our home (I realize I may have just lost some of you). No, we are not turning away from gathering together with other believers. Scripture seems clear in this regard. "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is: but exhorting one another: and so much the more as ye see the day approaching." (Hebrews 10:25) We do realize that there are no perfect churches. There are, however, some things that we do not feel we can sacrifice.
I say all this to express what a restfull and special worship time we have had the last few weeks. We are asking God to give us guidance regarding where we should be worshipping together. We are overwhelmed with the vast number of churches around. Yet we know he has a special church family for us. Longing for that fellowship, we wait on Him. The same God who guides the tornadoes is in control of this situation, as well. For now, I know that "where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." (Matt. 18:25) While my natural bent is to feel yet more guilt regarding this, I know that I need to trust Him.
Wherever we end up for church, I hope that I will remember: 1.) Set the schedule, but don't stress about it. 2.) Its alright if someone wore that outfit last week (the Lord looks on the heart), and 3.) Sandwiches work just fine for Sunday lunch, and result in many fewer dishes to wash. By the way, wasn't that what I was going for anyway? Worship and rest? Yeah, that was it.