"Preach the gospel at all times, if necessary use words." - St. Francis of Assisi

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Lent Day 20 - Monday

“I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go into the house of the Lord.” (Psalms 122:1)

Today was Sunday. A Holy Day. A day of rest. A day to fellowship with God and fellow believers. A day to separate from the world. I joined with millions of other believers around the world and went to church. And it was good.

Many years ago, I read a book titled, “Mister God, this is Anna.” The main thing that I remember from this book is Anna’s take on the day of rest. Paraphrasing a bit, Anna made the point that “God didn’t rest on the seventh day. He’s God and doesn’t need to rest. By His calling it a day of rest, God created rest for us. We need to have that day away from the hectic life, to rest and visit God.” Isn’t that an interesting take on the seventh day? Still a day of creation for us…a day of rest? Of course, my personal heroine and mentor, Edith Ann, made the point of “God created the world in six days and on the seventh day He rested…..while we HAVE to get up and go to church!”

Yet, what do so many of us do, whether we are on church staff or not? We try to cram as much as possible into that one day, in the name of God’s work, that we wear ourselves out and come to almost dread Sundays because of the busyness. Been there, done that, and burnt myself out from church. Many churches start at 8 a.m. or earlier with worship services, bible studies, lunches, meetings, visitations, discipleship classes, another meeting, choirs, programs, programs, programs. And we wonder why people get burnt out and drop away after a season.

In my own personal walk, I have had to make a conscious choice about what I will and will not be involved with. Even though, I enjoy church stuff and love to be involved, I’ve just learned that I can’t do it all…..as much as I wish I could. As a general rule these days, keep my afternoons and evenings free for family, friends, reading, basically quietness. Avoiding the office or other working. Even though I may be writing on newspaper/magazine columns, it is in my home office, watching the birds in the woods out the windows and enjoying the music from my iPod. Resting. As the day was created to do.

  Let me encourage you to at least try and simplify your day of rest. Realize that you and your family might need to be hanging out together rather than running all over the county trying to do things that could really wait until the next week. Use Sunday as a day of rest, and, go back to the verse from earlier in this Lenten season, “Be still and know that I am God.”(Psalms 46:10).

And for today my friends, this has been the gospel according to Jimmy. Blessed be the Name of the LORD!


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