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10 Minutes Peace

    by Susan McGrath

What Ever Happened to Sunday?
Date Posted: July 2, 2005

I feel bad when I even think this, much less say it, but sometimes I dread Sundays.

Not because I don't want to attend a church service and worship the Lord and be encouraged and uplift others, but because of all the other things that get tacked on to my schedule because it's Sunday.

We seem to schedule our share of church dinners, meetings, rallies, and practices for Sunday afternoon or evening, and there are always family obligations. It seems, in our family anyway, we always reserve birthday or any other celebrations for Sunday afternoon.

And then there are the ballgames to watch and the great sale at the mall!

By mentioning these things, I'm not complaining about them, just stating all the things we try to cram into one day -- a day the early Christians used to honor the Lord.

I have to admit by Sunday evening, I've sometimes used up my energy and patience and am not fit to be in the same room as another person, much less bring honor and glory to God.

Why is that? What happened to the Sundays of my childhood when we came home from church and had dinner, lazed around with a book or played all afternoon, and then went to a short Sunday night service? (My mother even took a nap if she could sneak away from us for an hour!)

I don't remember my parents having a lot of meetings or practices scheduled on Sunday. We sometimes watched ballgames on TV, but we didn't schedule dinner around them. And the store hours were very limited. In our small town, in fact, only one store was open on Sunday. If was Sunday, after all!

If we ran out of milk we had to drive across town to the Dairy Lane, because the other grocery stores were closed.(We kids didn't mind -- it was called the "Dairy" Lane for a reason. They carried every type of ice cream bar and frozen pop you could imagine!)

Now several of the kids in my youth group are schedule to work during Sunday school and/or church at local stores or restaurants. Some have even had ballgames scheduled on Sunday mornings because that's the only time the could get the school gym.

Obviously our culture has changed in the last twenty-five years and the retail industry will place money above all, but I think those of us within the church are more at fault than society in general. We are supposed to understand what it means to take time for the Lord, to need a time of refreshing.

We know that God rested on the seventh day after creating the world and everything in it, and that the Sabbath was to be observed by his people for spiritual and physical reasons. Even though the Sabbath was eliminated with Christ's death and resurrection, the early Christians still observed a day to honor God.

So why is it so difficult for us to say no to all the extras and have a leisurely meal with our family and relax for a few hours reading the bible or even just a good novel?

Acts 20: 7 says, "On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people . . ." Whether they observed this as a time of rest is not clear, but it was a time to be renewed and refreshed through scripture study and fellowship.

I have been guilty of scheduling practices and activities for Sundays, but the busier I become, the more thought I give to taking up someone else's time on Sunday. It's almost like taking up the Lord's time, so it had better be for a good purpose!

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Biography Information:
Susan McGrath is:

a recovering journalist trying to encourage others and glorify God through writing;

living the small-town life with husband Tim and sons Lincoln, 12, and Sawyer, 6;

completing a few put-off writing projects while using chocolate for therapy.
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