Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest and worship, right? A day to pause, to dwell, to feast, a day for remembering the mighty deeds of God and reveling in the resurrection of Jesus, for gathering with his people and helping each other really hear the gospel as we worship together.
Today was a good Sunday, not in the sense of slow time (how I longed for that this afternoon when I felt the early autumn chill mixed with the warm late afternoon sunlight, but I was walking to my car) but in the sense that I spent lots of time with God’s people. This morning I worshiped with Chattanooga Valley Presbyterian Church (CVPC) and had the privilege to tell about some of the ways God is building his kingdom in Ukraine. Then I drove up to my home church, North Shore Fellowship for lunch and to hear from two families who taught at an English camp in the Czech Republic this past summer. Next I stopped at a friend’s house to meet their newly adopted son from Korea, and closed out the evening with my neighborhood church small groups for dinner and a worship service.
I’m thankful for the church–the people of God. In particular I’m thankful for those in the two small groups here in St. Elmo, my neighborhood. We’re messy and broken, but we’ve been bought by Jesus’ blood. I believe that in the warp and woof of our life together, knowing and being known in fellowship around the resurrected Jesus, God will shape us to be more like Jesus. He gives rest to the weary, and hopefully as we rest in him we’ll grow in living out the full-orbed well-being or shalom that God intends to work in our community through us.
Yes, I had a full Sunday. But I was with God’s gathered people, and we enjoyed being with Jesus and with each other. Even with brothers and sisters I don’t know well this morning, I rejoiced because we share a common God and Savior, who graciously gives us rest by his work for us. We were reminded this evening from Psalm 13 to be honest with God in our prayers (He’s big enough to take it), and after being honest to focus on him and his steadfast love rather than our problems. Is that not rest: drawing near with confidence to the throne of grace, and receiving mercy and finding grace to help in time of need?
Busy day of rest? Yup. Wouldn’t want that schedule every Sunday. But today it was good, and I was glad to enjoy Jesus with his people.
(Plus I got to sing “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty” twice, and that hymn rocks!)