Sundays are for Easter
Bedtime theology with the 6 yo…
(After celebrating Holy Communion at home on a Sunday)
Me: Okay let’s make the sign of the cross on our foreheads.
6 yo: Hey, when you do that, it’s like every Sunday is Easter!
Me: Oh wow, that’s a great insight. There is a saying in the church that every Sunday is a little Easter but I don't think that I told you that. How did you come up with that idea?
6 yo: Because I’m a cool kid, yo.
What's your Sunday for? As a child, my Sundays were for hustling to get out the door for church and Sunday school at the rural Midwest congregation we attended. The town had about 200 people, if that gives you an idea. My mom taught Sunday school to the pre-school class (for about 40 years, I kid you not) and when I was older, I helped her set up the classroom before it started, maybe cutting out construction paper shapes for a craft or setting out boxes of markers.
When we got home on Sunday, we at the same meal nearly every week and I am not making this up: fish sticks, mac and cheese and a warmed up can of Pork N Beans (very little pork was involved). Then we went about whatever house, farm, or homework tasks were on the docket.
In college, my Sundays were usually for sleeping in (though I did attend campus worship on Wednesday nights); as a young adult, I resumed Sunday worship again, volunteering where I could and thinking about going to seminary. Once I went to seminary and started working at churches, then Sundays were for work, sometimes at the cost of my own ability to worship and rest in God.
Then I got a non-church ministry job, and became a parent. Sundays are still sometimes about work and occasionally for travel, but now they are also for family time. Sometimes we're in the church building, sometimes we're on Zoom and sometimes we're discussing Scripture around the dinner table. On a few really gorgeous summer days, we've opted for a hike in God's creation.
Sundays are for a lot of things for a lot of people -- I didn't even mention Sunday brunch, reading the newspaper, coffee and more coffee, cleaning house, preparing for the week ahead and so many more things that people do on Sundays.
But, what, really are Sundays for, for a follower of Jesus? Are they for obligation? Inspiration? Meditation?
I think they are for Easter, per my 6 year-old's comment.
Sundays are for Easter because every Sunday is a chance to celebrate the resurrection of Christ. Every Sunday we hear the good news about Jesus (tip: if you are not hearing that where you attend church, reconsider that place). Every Sunday we see the baptismal font and can remember our own baptism, when God gives us the name "beloved." Every Sunday (at least in most ELCA congregations) we receive communion in bread and wine, the symbols of Christ's promises. All of these things celebrate the resurrection -- not simply a guy coming back to life, but the possibility of new life, of new hope, that things can change, that love wins in the end, that violence is not the last word.
Sundays are for Easter, even when you feel like your world is Good Friday and things seem hopeless and children die in preventable tragedies and legislators decide that people must not live the way that God created them to be. Even then, Sundays are for Easter. Sundays remind us there is hope. Sundays remind us that God never left Jesus, and never leaves us.
This week, I'm looking forward to Sunday.