Since moving back to Texas 4 months ago (and Paul being back on a church staff after a 3 year hiatus) the idea of sacred days has been weighing heavy on my heart.
I’m afraid that Sundays and Wednesdays are no longer sacred.
When I was younger, nothing was scheduled on Sundays or Wednesdays. Nothing. No baseball practice, no swimming lessons, no dance class, no shopping trips, no lake days…nothing.
They were sacred days on the calendar. It was understood. They were meant for church. They were meant for a day of rest.
So, why are they not anymore? Why have people stopped going to church and pursued other things?
- There are probably many reasons, but in my opinion, I think the overarching “theme” could be that people aren’t invested in the church anymore. And by the church, I mean the congregation, the fellowship with one another (not the building). They go when it’s convenient. They go when they feel like it. They go if there’s nothing else to do. But, it’s not a top priority. It may have been once, but not anymore.
- Church is also seen by many as just a glorified country club. A social club, if you will, with gossip, trash talking, and judgment. It’s supposed to be a hospital for sinners, not a hotel for saints, but for many people who are broken and hurting, they feel rejected and alone, even surrounded by so called Christians.
Many people are looking for authentic relationships yet so many church-going Christians refuse to be anything more than Sunday-morning friends. An authentic relationship takes time. Effort. Sacrifice. Being uncomfortable. Being honest. Being real. And face it, church is a place that is supposed to make you feel good, not stretch you beyond your comfort zone (or so people say).
- There’s also a sense that, although people come together at church to worship together, unity is far from a reality.
In 1 Corinthians, Paul talks to the church in Corinth about unity. About a sameness. A oneness.
1 Corinthians 12:12
“The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ.”
1 Corinthians 12:14-23
“Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. If the foot should say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,’ it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. And if the ear should say, ‘Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,’ it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you!’ And the head cannot say to the feet, ‘I don’t need you!’ On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor.”
1 Corinthians 12:27
“Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.”
Unity in the body of Christ does not mean total conformity and uniformity. Although maintaining unity in the body is very important, it is also vital to value the unique qualities that make each of us an individual “part” of the body. Both aspects, unity and individuality, deserve emphasis and appreciation. This makes for a healthy church body, when we remember that Christ is our common denominator. He makes us one.
And despite disagreements or differing opinions, we should be unified as one. Because we love and serve a God who made the ultimate sacrifice for us, despite our imperfections and flaws. Don’t you think our fellow believers deserve the same love.
- Another reason people may opt for a day at the lake, rather than attending church, is because they have the idea in their minds that you don’t need to be a part of a church to be a Christian.
And yes, they are right. You don’t. But in Hebrews (10:25) it says, “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” The Bible instructs us to be in relationship with other believers. If we are part of Christ’s body, we will recognize our need to fit into the body of believers. The church is the place where we come together to encourage one another as members of Christ’s body. Together we fulfill an important purpose on the Earth.
I miss the sacred days. I miss the days where everybody came to church. I miss the days when you didn’t have to wonder where someone was on a Sunday morning. I miss certain people in my family. In my church family. I know they are members, but they’ve missed the reunions we have every Sunday. And I’ve missed them.
Maybe one day those days will be sacred once again.