Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Sunday

Today in church, Sister Livingston said;  "When I was little, I used to get "Sunday sick". I don't remember when I started finding joy in going to church."

I have similar feelings. I don't remember getting "Sunday sick", but I do remember, hiding in the girls bathroom stall- standing on the toilet seat to avoid getting caught; going to Baskin Robbins during Sunday
school and other Sunday transgressions too many to account in this post. But like Sister Livingston, I have found joy in going to church. There are Sundays when I am less than spiritual---yelling at my kids minutes before church is to begin: "GET IN THE CAR! We are late for church!" And when my kids were little, I used to wonder if I was really gleaning anything from my attendance since I was on the verge of going AWOL! And yet, I kept returning...

There are several reasons why screaming moms and tearful kids won't stop me from attending church on Sunday. First, I find strength associating with those of my faith. Often, I don't remember what was taught on Sunday, but I remember feeling loved by those of my congregational family and the love I have for them.  Second, as I participate in worship services, I feel not only my congregational family's love but God's love for me. Third, I usually have the opportunity to "get out of my comfort zone" by serving in some small aspect. I might sit by someone in Sunday school that I'm not accustomed to sitting- and instead of feeling, "Yay, me- I've made someone happy!" "The lonely one" has brightened my day!! And last, but not the least by any means, I love, but don't fully understand, God's work is at hand. As I partake of the sacrament, the physical representation of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ- the same symbol he introduced to His apostles the night before His crucifixion--"the power of Godliness is manifest".

Today, as I struggled to get to church after making preparations for Easter dinner, "encouraged" my kids to get ready and tackled getting ready myself, I had a poignant experience. Arriving at church alone, (the rest of my family left in the van without me) I sat in my pew still a bit frazzled and watched Sister Johnson walk softly into church. She lost her husband just two weeks ago to pneumonia. And minutes later, Judy with her fashionable wig and nose and mouth mask to protect her from complications of a compromised immune system from her chemotherapy treatments, walked purposely up to the front of the chapel and found her seat. 

I am so ever grateful not just Easter Sunday but every Sunday I can leave the world behind and seek the peace Sister Johnson and Judy were seeking; along with: joy, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, love, faith...

I pray my kids will skip Baskin Robbins and get the straight scoop on joy!