Why do we bother going to Church on Sunday, when the rest of the world is simply pulling the doona over their head and catching some more sleep? I’m not sure what your own personal reasons are for Sunday church-going, but in Scripture it goes right back to the book of Genesis, when God rested from his creative work. It tells us that ‘God blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it’.
Part of the blessing and hallowing of Sabbath is to set it aside as a holy day, a day that is separate and distinct from the other days of the week and dedicated to God. It’s a day when we not only reclaim some much-needed physical rest, but a day when we recharge our spiritual lives, by praying and worshipping together. Here at Mass week by week, the Word is read and proclaimed, bread and wine are lifted up, and we share peace with one another. In all these things the Spirit of Christ is present to enliven us and to enrich us.
We have lost any real sense of Sabbath rest in our 24-hour, seven days a week culture, where priorities have changed and Sunday has no distinct value. Although the cat is well and truly out of that bag, what would it look like if we were to reclaim the practise of Sabbath in our own private lives? One aspect of this reclaiming would be to deliberately make space for a physical break from our routines, and all the demands of productivity, consumerism, and, yes, even sport. Another is to make it a day of holy rest, dedicated to God and to re-charging our spiritual batteries.
What would it look like to be counter-cultural, and to set aside time each Sunday for holy rest, not just occasionally when we have spare time, but regularly, to be at Mass. Even though Jesus rejects all the pharisaic legalism that had been built around the concept of Sabbath, he doesn’t reject the notion itself, or the need for human beings to find physical and spiritual rest.
We should make every effort to attend church on Sunday: to come togetherto pray, to worship and to enrich our souls. What would this parish of All Saints look like if we all ‘doubled’ our church attendance and were here week by week, giving God the first fruits of our time rather than the left-over crumbs? It would be transformative!
In peace, Mother Lynda