Sunday Thoughts

by

by Al Sturgeon
(published weekly in Desperate Houseflies)

MONDAY MORNING CHURCH

I blame my youngest daughter for the fact that I now listen to country music. I’ve avoided this music genre because my impression had been that it consists primarily of songs about drinking beer, lost loves, and hunting dogs. Which is true. What I did not realize was the preponderance of songs about church, although I should have suspected that this Southern staple would have been included with the other Southern specialties.

One popular song I’ve heard often now is the mournful Alan Jackson ballad, “Monday Morning Church.” Maybe you’ve heard it, too. It seems that someone’s love has died, leaving the singer’s heart “…as empty as a Monday morning church.” You get the drift.

As a preacher, I can tell you that the church building is pretty empty on Monday mornings. I love it because I can get a lot done during that time, but that doesn’t seem to be the flavor of the song. Instead, the idea is that this life-giving place is sad on Mondays. Hollow. The lyrics betray the author’s non-attendance at worship even on Sundays now because his heart is that empty – the epitome of emptiness – a Monday morning church.

Well here’s the deal: I don’t think Mondays should get such a bad religious rap.

The truth is that, although Sunday is technically the first day of the week, we in fact treat it as the week-END. First graders will point out this oxymoron to you. At least one did for me. On the other hand, we act as if Monday begins the week – our first day back to work or school.

Here’s the funny thing: Although Jesus rose on a Sunday, to the Jewish people it was like our Monday. Sabbath (Saturday) was a day of rest, reflection, and worship, but the first day of the week (Sunday for them) was the day when they went back to work. Back to the old grind. It was this type of day (like our Monday) when the ladies discovered that Jesus was in fact very much alive.

In his new book (Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places), Eugene Peterson writes, “Mary Magdalene and the other women were on their way to work when they encountered and embraced the resurrection of Jesus. I’m prepared to contend that the primary location for spiritual formation is the workplace.

Me, too.

Now I’ll also agree with Alan Jackson: church buildings are awfully empty on Monday mornings. Just like Jesus’s grave was on that Jewish “get back to work” day. But it is out in this real world, refreshed from rest and worship, that we encounter Christ.

That’s not depressing in the least!

I wonder where we will see Him tomorrow? I wonder if we’ll be looking?

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4 Responses to “Sunday Thoughts”

  1. JD Says:

    Excellent, as always. That song is a real heart-breaker…have you seen the video? There is also a song/video out now about Loving Sunday mornings…maybe someone will know the real name of it. The location of the contemporary Christian community in Nashville can have some good influence… but then again there’s “I’m Here for the Party”, “Redneck Girl”, “Ride a Cowboy” to keep country music evolution moving backwards.

    Hauntingly beautiful is Brad Paisley / Allison Kraus “Whiskey Lullaby”.

    Chasing a rabbit or two on Monday morning.

  2. Jules Says:

    I haven’t heard the song, but I love this comment.
    “Now I’ll also agree with Alan Jackson: church buildings are awfully empty on Monday mornings. Just like Jesus’s grave was on that Jewish “get back to work” day. But it is out in this real world, refreshed from rest and worship, that we encounter Christ”
    Al-I really am enjoying the stuff here! Y’all keep up the good work.

  3. JD Says:

    What happened to MONDAY Housefly? When is funny day? Wednesday?

    Isn’t Monday the conservative political post? Perhaps they didn’t write because President Bush has disappeared off the radar screen. What is that dude doing these days? lol

  4. Joe Longhorn Says:

    Monday housefly was travelling across the country on Sunday and Monday and missed his opportunity to post. I flew from San Diego to Baltimore and back to San Diego in the space of about 40 hours. Pretty hectic! I apoligize for the gap in the blog, but I will be back next week and raring to go!

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