When i was a small person…under age 5…we lived in Springfield, Missouri. During those years, Sundays looked different than what they have for most of my life. We actually went to church…and after church we had lunch at grandpa and grandma’s house. Mmmm…my grandma can cook! Roast and mashed potatoes were prevalent. So were noodles! Remember…I was just a small person! Once we moved to KC when I was in kindergarten, not only did church attending disappear, but mom and/or dad were both at the store (Deck the Walls at the mall) most weekends so Sunday lunch went by the wayside, too.
There was a lot I loved about Sunday dinner. Family was around the table. I got to play with my cousins. It was a connection with each other that didn’t happen throughout the week. It made it feel like a whole family unit instead of separated pieces. And, man, was there laughter. I come from a long line of teasers and jokers. And story tellers…there was always a story that started with, ‘Remember when…’ Maybe that’s why I missed it so much when we moved. I saw my cousins less, I missed my family and it eventually didn’t feel like a whole family unit anymore.
Since I started working at Woods Chapel and the store wasn’t open on Sunays, it is not uncommon for my parents to ask if I want to meet them for lunch once I am done with my morning stuff. I don’t know why it means so much, but I still love Sunday lunch, even if it is only the 3 of us.
I thought of this tonight because I am finishing ‘Right Here, Right Now’ and Lance Ford just referenced how his daughters dreaded working their fast food jobs on Sundays because the most belligerent people were church folks. He followed that by saying, ‘Steve Sjogren seeks to counter this as he implores his flock to tip 25% in restaurants on Sundays as a missional practice. Imagine the impact we could make by doing the same and focusing always on being God’s good news people in restaurants, cafes and anywhere we shop.’
Does that sound crazy? I hope not, because there are some pretty rude Christians out there and God help us if we are ever the one holding our Bible or Jesus keychain, tapping our toe and loudly complaining…instead of being kind, compassionate and patient.
God calls us to so much more! The gut feeling you get, pay attention…because God is trying to get yours. The mission of God is not lived inside the church walls…it is only alive when it is so much a part of your daily life and practice that it doesn’t feel like ‘work.’ Mission is your life lived transparently…scary? That’s because it is, but we do it with Jesus right there. And when your whole church community is living that way, you are not alone…someone else has a cool story to tell, and a life they have trasformed for Christ by being completely normal, listening to others and *gasp* maybe even throwing out a cuss word to break the ice. It has nothing to do with memorizing scripture and being the ‘perfect’ Christian, and everything to do with loving those others ignore. It is being in deeper relationships than just a cursory, ‘Hey, how are you?’ It is adjusting to what Jesus’ first reaction would be in a situation.
Challenge your church community this weekend. Afterall, it’s only midweek…you’ve got a couple of days to figure out how crazy you want to be next Sunday when your family eats out after church…