When I was a kid growing up in the south, I recall going to the grocery store with my dad and bumping into an old friend of his. My dad caught glimpse of him first, there in the Kroger aisle, and called out his name. When his friend turned around and saw my dad, his whole face lit up with joy. He extended his hand and said, “Well my goodness, if it ain’t my ol’ buddy Bill - why I haven’t seen you in a month of Sundays!”
Now, his friend was using an expression that means a seemingly endless length of time, but for this young girl who was most content in the confines of her own home, surrounded by those she loved the most, a “month of Sundays” sounded like bliss. Afterall, Sunday was, and still is my favorite day. Growing up in the 70’s, Sundays were sacred in my home. We awoke to the sounds of the Happy Goodman Family album blaring from the record player inside our big console stereo system and the smell of bacon frying. We cut and pasted pictures of Jesus in Sunday school, sang old hymns with only the accompaniment of the piano, heard a challenging message and hugged everybody’s neck.
After church, my mom always made a big meal and my sister, and her family joined us. There was no peanut butter and jelly happening on Sunday. This was the south, people! There was always, always mashed potatoes and roast beef or fried chicken and my sister and I fought over who would make the deviled eggs. We rested. Truly rested. We went for walks, played games, sat on the porch swing and listened to music or watched the big box t.v. in the living room. In the evening we went to church again. Before bed, we watched Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom or the Wonderful World of Disney (remember those?) together, as a family. There was worship happening in every nook and cranny of the day. Worship when we woke up to mama’s gospel albums playing, worship at church (not once but twice) and worship in our obedience to rest, as God has commanded us to do. It was simple and wonderful and the idea of a whole month of doing that every day seemed dreamy to me in my young mind.
The COVID19 quarantine these last few weeks has been a struggle for me. I’ve mostly been disappointed for my Senior daughter and the events and dreams of hers that keep getting cancelled or postponed. I don’t like unknowns and sometimes fear looms over my faith instead of vice versa. But God keeps placing that phrase in my mind – “A month of Sundays”. What if?
What if, those of us who are healthy, treated this time as a real “month of Sundays”? What if we consciously made the effort to see each of these days as a day of worship? What if we woke up to Praise and Worship Music, hugged our loved ones and “virtually” hugged those we cannot physically reach through easily accessible technology? What if we were intentional about our study of God’s word, hit our knees in prayer, made Jesus crafts with our little ones and made mealtimes a family event again? On days where the monotony can get the best of us and we feel we might go insane, what if we earnestly sought out ways to draw closer to HIM?
Instead of complaining and succumbing to disappointment and bitterness, what if we chose to call out His attributes bringing praise onto Him and taking the focus off us? When fear swells and faith seems to take a back seat, what if we went to His word and sought comfort from His promises?
What would it be like if we made the decision to treat this month of quarantine like a literal “month of Sundays” instead of a figurative “month of Sundays”? What if we chose to spend each day in Worship to the One, whose journey to rescue us from sin is celebrated during this Lenten season, instead of viewing this as a seemingly endless length of time? Just…what if?