My post, Is Feb 3 Really Super Bowl Sunday?, has been viewed 1,263 times since I posted it on January 22. We’re obviously interested in the Super Bowl and how our churches can be effective on that day. My point was that for followers of Christ, Sunday does not belong to the NFL, it belongs to Christ and His church. On Sunday morning in Chatham, we’re celebrating Transfiguration Sunday, not Super Bowl Sunday.
Helping others find the rhythm of God’s grace in their lives is the mission of the church, in my opinion. If we can lead others to pattern their lives with a consciousness of God’s work in God’s world, we go a long way toward helping people grow in their relationship to God. Several years ago, I heard a preacher say, “You can tell what priorities people have by looking at two things — their calendars and their checkbooks.” I think he was right, and the way we not only plan our time, but understand the meaning of time is important for followers of Christ.
So, that’s why I like the Christian Year as a framework for church worship and planning. And, that’s why I preach from the revised common lectionary. And, that’s why Debbie and I follow the practice of “keeping the hours” by praying the daily office each day. Those rhythms govern our lives and remind us that we do indeed live in sacred time.
The Old Testament examples of yearly festivals (Feast of Tabernacles, Passover, Pentecost, etc), and the 3-times daily prayer of people like Daniel are biblical examples of what I’m talking about. These practices were long ago reinvented for the Christian church in the form of the Christian Year, the daily office, and recommended scripture readings. Churches of all sizes — ours is small with about 80-100 each Sunday — can do the very things I am suggesting and bring a new awareness to their members. We’re doing it here in Chatham in a 151-year old congregation that has embraced positively the Christian Year, the lectionary, and my references to the daily office.
What’s your experience? How is your church shaping the lives of your members each week, month, and year? Others are interested in this issue, and I look forward to your comments and stories about how you find the rhythm of God’s grace in your life and your church.