The Problem With #Sunday Fun Day

I see quite a few social media posts with the hashtag (which used to be the number or pound sign when I was growing up) of “Sunday Fun Day.”  Now, there’s nothing inherently wrong with having fun on a Sunday.  After all, God gave us the Sabbath as a day of rest.  It’s the execution that gives way to a problem.  It’s not the fun after church I’m talking about.  It’s the fun instead of church.

As a trend, meaning it’s not true for everyone, there seems to be a decline in corporate worship on Sunday mornings, especially within the Young and Median Adult age groups (20 – 45 years).  Why is that?  Well, for a few reasons.

For many of us, it’s because we’re busy.  We’ve piled so much into our schedule that we’ve allowed it to over-run our need for worship.  Maybe it’s a work schedule, or just a need to take care of household duties, or maybe we simply want to sit and veg out after a busy weekend of running around.  Sometimes that bed looks a whole lot more inviting than that church pew.

In other cases, we make plans to have a family get together or outing and getting an early start or an extended visit does look inviting.  If you’re from my neck of the woods, that Canton shopping weekend really is fun, especially if you can score some of those delicious German-roasted nuts.  Our family likes to camp and many times we will go out for a long weekend just to soak it all in.

Then there’s the sports life.  Around here we’ve got baseball, soccer, football, cheer, track, swim, volleyball… You name it, we got it.  (Except maybe hockey or lacrosse.  You don’t hear much about those in Central Texas.)  You could easily have a “select” team playing a game or tournament on a Sunday.  Not to mention the games on the television!

Those are the main reasons we’re not in church on a Sunday morning.  Obviously, I’m not talking about missing due to illness.  I’m talking about the sporadic worshiper.  Basically, we’re young and we’re living life.  Church seems to be that thing you do when you get older, your children are grown, and you have nothing better to do than to get up, get coffee, and get some Jesus.

The only problem is that the Bible doesn’t support that.  In fact, in Hebrews 10:25 we are told to not give up meeting together … but to encourage one another.  And why is it that we are told to come together?  Why is it important?  Because we are some backsliding, fickle sinners.

If we are not actively seeking out fellowship and worship with other believers that can encourage, disciple, and, when needed, rebuke us, then we only have ourselves to keep us on the right path.  And let’s face it, we’re pretty lenient when it comes to us.  One of the greatest lines I hear Christians say on this matter is, “I can worship God anywhere.”  And that’s true.  You can.  It just doesn’t usually happen when you’re watching that football game or walking around the zoo, or trimming those bushes.  Out of sight.  Out of mind.

But that’s the affect on us adults.  Let’s think about what it does to our children.  Right off the bat, it tells them that church isn’t important.  It tells them that having fun and living life is more important than worshiping and learning about the One who gave us this life.  And when we teach our children this at an early age, it should be no surprise when those same children walk away from the faith all together.

Allowing this compromise on God’s word opens the door for other compromises down the road.  Is it really important that I remain humble?  Modest?  Serve others?  Does it really matter if I have premarital relations?  Do I really have to respect authority?  Isn’t that just part of that outdated religion?

The signals we send our children are important and lasting.

Now, am I saying that my family has never or will never miss a Sunday worship?  No.  I’d be lying if I did.  As I said, we like to go camping and sometimes that runs over into Sunday.  But it’s not the norm.  We choose not to schedule major commitments on that day.  And yes, that means that we choose not to participate in some of those activities that take place on Sundays.

For us, Sundays are about worship, family, and rest.  And that sure does make Monday a whole lot easier to face.


You’ve Got A Friend In Me … Sort Of

I’ve got a confession to make.  I’m not a very good friend.  I’d like to be, but I’m not.  You see, I’ve got this problem where I’m a whole-lotta selfish and self-righteous, which is really just a cover for being terribly self-conscience.

The truth of the matter is that I’m afraid of rejection.  I’m afraid of not being good enough, of not living up to some standard.  I’m afraid that someone’s going to figure out that I’m really no good.  So I keep myself at a distance from everyone.  (Except John.  He’s stuck with me.)

And that’s how I approached the Throne of God for years.  Imagine how a poor, mousy servant girl would approach the king for a request.  That was me.  Here was the Great I Am and I’m coming into His presence.  What do I have to offer?  What will my praise bring Him?  Why would He ever listen to my petition?  I felt like I somehow managed to slip in while no one was looking, and that I had better play my cards right or risk being kicked back out where I belong.  Rejected.

Lies.  Every one of them.  That’s what Satan wanted me to think, because if I believed that Jesus would never really want me, then I would never really seek a relationship with Him.  I would never seek to grow, and that’s the easiest way to backslide into a life of sin.

The same is true of earthly relationships.  If I believe that I’m not good enough, and that no one would choose a relationship with me, then I become distant and bitter.  I begin to make up lies to make myself feel better.  “Those people are snobs.  They don’t care about anyone but themselves.  Those people aren’t good enough for me to be around.”  And that’s when I become the unrepentant sinner that Satan wants me to be.

It was only after spending time in His word and surrounded by His truth, did it finally solidify in my heart that Jesus really loved me.  Wanted me.  Sought me.  Jesus said in Revelation 3:20,

I stand at the door and knock.

He knocked.  And while I was still a sinner, Christ died for me (Rm. 5:8).

The deal is, I’m not good enough.  I’m not perfect, but I am loved.  So, I’m trying to make a difference in my life.  I’m trying to let Jesus’ love soften this heart of mine.  I’m trying to restore relationships and build new ones.  I’m trying to open myself up, because God made us to be in relationships.  After all, we are made in His image, and He is a triune God, three in one.  God Himself is never alone, so why should I seek that way of life for myself?

I want to care about you.  I want to pray for you.  I want to be excited for what excites you.  I want to listen to you.  I want to do those things, but I’m not very good at them yet.  There’s a lot of selfish that I’m trying to get over, so please be patient.

And don’t be alarmed if you get a text, letter, or email from me out of the blue.  (I don’t know if I’m quite ready for actual phone calls.)  Nothing’s wrong.  I’m just working on being a better, less self-righteous, friend.