Treasure Valley Prays

Sunday and…

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Growing up, I learned to play the drumset in order to fill a musical need at my church. It was a lot of fun for me, and I like to think I grew into it well as a self-taught musician. I remember approaching every week as if we were practicing for the next week’s show/event/concert. The thrust of my energy as a worship drummer was always “what’s happening next Sunday?”

When it comes to making a worship happen, there could be a lot of elements depending on the habits of a worshipping community. How will communion happen? Who lights the candles? Is there a reader? Assistant? Greeter? Usher? When do we sit or stand? What music should we sing? Who will play? The reality is there are a lot of considerations that go into the worship of a community whether in person, online, or both.

Yet, week after week, communities have figured out how to respond to these questions, or perhaps, they engage with these questions on an ongoing basis. Responding to so many questions and considerations as a community shows an under-spoken and under-acknowledged nimbleness and resilience. Worshipping communities dedicate a lot of focus to event planning every week…and that is worth celebrating.

As Christians, Sunday is very important. Since the earliest writings describing Christian worship, Sunday has held a place of primacy as the day of the week when Jesus rose from the dead. Because of this, Sunday is when we gather most usually and get to check-in as a community together.
But what about Monday-Saturday?

When Jesus was alive, he certainly was active on holy days, as well as all other ones. If we take the idea of Christian vocation seriously, doesn’t that mean there is room to emphasize God’s presence throughout the week as well? Too often, I run the risk of a mindset that assumes God’s presence. There’s nothing inherently wrong with such a mindset. Jesus often pushes us to assume that God is present especially in places where we wouldn’t think God to be present. The danger can be that, since I’m just automatically assuming God’s presence, I don’t really need to acknowledge it on a daily basis. Have we, as Christians, come to overemphasize one hour on a Sunday morning? How can the rest of the week be affected by Sunday?

I’m not the first one to ask this question by any means. It was communicated most clearly to me at my first Idaho Discipleship Conference with David Lose. David posed the question: what if instead of seeing Sunday as the big event, we approached it as the practice for the rest of the week? This would be challenging for all of the comfort we have in event planning. Practically, as a church drummer, I’m not sure how rehearsals would go if we only asked, “what’s happening Monday-Saturday?” There is a place for looking toward Sundays. We may need to re-emphasize, however, that Sunday is meant to affect us for the rest of the week. Sunday is where we practice what it is like to be a “reign-of-God” community in a way that isn’t meant to limit that opportunity to Sundays.

When Jesus speaks of giving life abundant (John 10:10) this gift applies to our time too. The reign of God is an event to celebrate and it is a lifestyle during our week. You are a part of the reign of God today and tomorrow.
What’s happening next Monday-Saturday?

Justin Tigerman

Justin Tigerman

ELCA Pastor
Faith Lutheran Church, Caldwell, ID

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This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Jim Grunow

    Thanks, Justin, for this devotional. I especially appreciated your words, “The reign of God is an event to celebrate, and it is a lifestyle during our week.” Well put!! I had not heard someone describe what it means to be Christian precisely in that way. “What is happening next Monday through Saturday” you ask? How about, among other things, “continued racism in our culture, environmental destruction, militarism, economic inequality, and how the love of money is at the root of all kinds of evil” as suggested by Brian McLaren in FAITH AFTER DOUBT, p.83? How about we in the church talk more about these things going on in our culture week after week and seek to discern how the “reign of God” speaks to these weekly happenings?

  2. Mary Braudrick

    Amen. Thank you – these are true words.

  3. Linda Worden

    I’ve always liked that sign you sometimes see at the exit to a church parking lot–“Entering the Mission Field.” It’s corny, but also a friendly reminder.

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