Well today is my favorite day of the week. Maybe it’s because I don’t work. Maybe it’s because its the beginning of a new week. Maybe……nah…….I just like Sundays because I love to go to church. It’s pretty rare nowadays but it’s true. I love the music and I love the sermons. I AM the church lady.
I’ve ALWAYS gone to church. Being raised in the south….and a SOUTHERN BAPTIST at that,you would always find me in church on Sunday morning and Sunday evening, Tuesday night Girls Auxillary, Wednesday evening and even on Friday nights after football. That is where ALL my friends were so why wouldn’t I want to be there too? Our church had a gym that when not in use, became a roller skating rink. We would skate for hours and hours until somebody’s parents came to pick them up and then we ALL had to go home. Our parents ran around in packs. Everyone knew everybody… and they had rights to yell at kids that weren’t even their own. I wanted to be one of those parents one day. Stores were closed all day and it was almost impossible to find a gas station open (although back then we called them service stations).
I loved the stories about Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego…..although WE called them Shadrach, Meschach and A Big Negro. We didn’t mean any harm by it….it was just easier to remember. We could recite verses from the Old Testament to the New Testament. And when our youth pastor would call upon us to tell our favorite verse…..well, let’s just say that I would want to go first and say John 11:35 “Jesus wept”. THAT way I didn’t have to recite a loooong passage from the bible. I was so very clever.
We never wore white shoes before Easter and we never wore those white shoes after Labor day. It was kinda a law. Maybe a Baptist law….I’m not sure. But to this day…I abide by that law. And Easter Sunday you reeeeally got fancy. The older women in the church tried to out-do each other with their famous Easter hats. Some had feathers, some had netting and then there were the really BIG hats and you hoped that that lady didn’t sit in front of you or then you couldn’t see anything going on up front. Although it did have an advantage because if they sat in the pew in front of you then you could draw pictures and write notes and no one could see you. (Of course I didn’t do this but I’m sure there were those that did…..you believe me right?).
I became a christian when I was 7 years old. I remember that the preacher was talking about Jesus dying on the cross for ME!! What? Had no one told me of this? Surely this was being withheld from me…why didn’t my Sunday School teacher tell me of this? Then the preacher said that if you asked Jesus into your heart he would listen and come to you and you would live forEVER in heaven. I was young but I knew right from wrong and decided that Hell was NOT a place for 7 year old girls (in case there was a car crash on the way home from church). So I marched down that aisle during the last song of the service and told that pastor that I wanted Jesus to come live in my heart! (I think I also mentioned wanting some of the “crackers and grape juice” also). Then came baptism and everyone was happy and clapping. I just knew that this was a great arrangment.
Since those years (yikes….it’s been 43!) I have realized what it really means to be a christian. It’s not about the juice and crackers……besides …you never get enough……And I realized that christianity is a way of life. I’m no different from anyone else in this world. I sin. You sin. We all sin. The difference is….because I am a christian…I’m forgiven. On that Sunday night when I asked Him into my heart He forgave me of everything I did BEFORE that date and everything I would do AFTER that date. Ahhh……that is comforting.
And, yes I DO believe that God has a sense of humor. What in the world was He thinking when he made mosquitos? Or salamanders? I will say that I am struck that God is not only a God of concern about the holiness of His people but He is also a God of detail. You can see that in all of creation around us! AND He is a God of humor…..He made me, right? HA!
We can still see Him and hear Him even in the craziness of everyday life and I take comfort in that.
Deut. 5:12 “Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the Lord your God has commanded you.”