Sunday, August 23, 2009

Every Day I Wake Up And It Is Sunday Morning

Pastors often have different nightmares than those on the other side of the pulpit. Common dreams causing night sweats include standing in front of the congregation and forgetting to put on your pants or being at a new congregation for the first Sunday and having no vestments and no sermon... well, you get the idea...

Often it seems to me that every day I wake up and it is Sunday morning -- I wake up wondering is it really Sunday? Where did the week go? Do I have a sermon ready? Did I forget something? This is really not a nightmare but the usual checklist as I think for a moment about what the day is and what lies before me.

Our Lord intended for our weeks and, indeed, our lives, to revolve around Sundays. It is the day of our Lord and of His resurrection. It is the first day of the week. It is the eighth day -- the dawn of the new creation made possible by His dying and rising again. It is the beginning of the beginnings only forgiveness can made possible. It is one day in time closer to the day no longer in time when we are all called before the Lord and those clothed in His righteousness to eternal life in the heavenly places prepared for us.

More than just Sunday to Sunday, our lives revolve around meals. I am not speaking here about the "what do you want to eat" meals of mortal lives but the feast prepared for us by our Lord Jesus Christ, where He gives us His body as food and His blood as drink to everlasting life. It is from one meal in His House to the next that we gauge our lives. It is from one Sacramental encounter with our Lord and His rich grace to the next that we measure the passage of time.

This weekly rhythm was the drum beat of the early Church -- not yet the fully formed dimensions of the Church Year with its cycle from Advent through Pentecost and then ordinary time but the weekly rhythm of a people gathered and dispersed only to be gathered again around the Word and Table of the Lord.

We work very hard to order our lives around different poles but still the Lord calls us to this weekly cycle of grace, to this weekly rhythmic dance to, from, and back to His House, and to this drumbeat of time measured not by birthdays or anniversaries but by where we have been and where we are going.

The Sunday morning gathering of God's people in the Name of the Lord, on the Day of the Lord, around the Table of the Lord... it is both source of our spiritual lives and the ground of our piety as well as the summit to which we are headed... And we are here again... to kneel in confession, to rise forgiven, to sing triumphantly of His story, to pray confidently in His name, to listen carefully to His Word, to confess boldly what He has done, to eat in humility at the Table where He bids us come of the heavenly food of His body and blood, to return expectantly of His coming again, and to work faithfully His works within the places where He bids us go.... only to start it again...

Soli Deo Gloria

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