What I am learning from a “down” Sunday

Most Sundays at church, there is a sense of excitement and anticipation. People are there because they want to be, and they believe that it’s important to come together as a church. This past Sunday, however, was different. It’s hard to put my finger on it, but it seemed most people weren’t feeling very joyful or excited. For some, they were just simply exhausted after having worked 6 days in a row. Others had experienced deep family problems. A few were facing another week of looking for a job when it seems there are none to be had. One had worked all month and now his boss was refusing to pay him. Then there were several people who weren’t there that hadn’t made an appearance in a long time. I was worried about them.

Despite this, we sang songs of praise to God. We prayed for each other. We read the Bible together. I preached as best as I could. Afterwards, we talked about our families and the week ahead. Then we each went home. At first glance, not much happened, but I have been thinking about it more since then. For me, this “down” Sunday did several things in my life.

1. Not every Sunday (or every day for that matter) will be filled with shouts of joy and warm feelings of fellowship. That’s okay. God works in our lives when we are tired, sad, disappointed, and frustrated as well as he does when we are happy.

2. This Sunday made me realize that every good thing that happens is a gift from God. Without him, we are nothing. Over the past year, we have taken many positive steps. We have had weeks where we have seen God do great things. Sometimes the hard weeks help us see how great the “good” weeks really are.

3. It made me pray more for the people in my church. Seeing people hurting and with deep needs made me realize how much I need to be praying for each of these brothers and sisters in Christ. It made me see that the growth of this church does not depend so much upon my ability, creativity or dynamic leadership. It depends on prayer.

4. It made me thank God that He is faithful and remains the same even when our emotions, and the emotions of an entire church, ebb and flow.

Those are some things I have been learning since last Sunday. What about you? What has God been teaching you?

3 thoughts on “What I am learning from a “down” Sunday”

  1. Thank you for sharing this, David. Your honesty and forthrightness is refreshing. Yes, life certainly does “ebb and flow” ~ there are “ups” and there are “downs”. I have found that I don’t have to look very far and see other folks’ hurts and heartaches and problems to realize that my “bumps on the road of life” can seem pretty insignificant. So many people, young, old and in-between whom I know are fighting cancer, and another dear friend is on dialysis 3 times a week because of diabetes and has lost both her legs.

    I fell and broke my right wrist playing Bocci Ball with family who made it home for Easter. It will mend eventually…..small problem compared to cancer! Actually, the broken wrist has been a cause for lots of jokes and laughter, too, though. My son, John, in Wisconsin, said when I let him know what had happened: “Mom, you’ve just got to quit those contact sports!” [?] His wife agreed and said she didn’t realize that Bocci Ball was right up there with sky diving and mountain climbing, as far as “danger” goes! Because these bones of mine are almost 82 years old, it wasn’t a “clean” break, but rather it is crushed thus the healing process is taking longer. The doctor couldn’t do surgery, as there’s nothing to attach pins to. But it will mend/heal over time. I wear a splint 24/7. One of main prayers still is for the restoring of my sons to walk with the Lord.

    Life is good and I am very grateful. I have such a wonderful “family” at church; such dear brothers and sisters in the Lord, and a Pastor (Pastor Linscott) who faithfully teaches & preaches the Word. His whole family is such a blessing and how the Lord “happened?” to place them right across the street from me is an extra special gift, too, that’s for sure. They stay very busy with their seven children plus all the church work.

    Thanks again for your updates and tell Sarah hello, to. I appreciate the family pics when you send them!

    Goodnight from Marshall, MN.

    “Grandma” Donna Dunlap

  2. Thanks for your insight on “down Sundays”. I believe our church is experiencing down months! Everything just as you said; not a lot of joy; people exhausted from the toils and cares of daily life; people struggling to worship. I just keep remembering the scripture that says God is faithful; He will continue the work He has begun in me, in you, in my church, in your church, in His Church! Thank Jesus for our hope and encouragement in Him and His Word.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.