Sunday is still my favorite day of the week.
I had to actually think about that three weeks ago when Carrie-Anne and I filled out a personal inventory / survey in the Young Families class here at Legacy. One of the questions in the “just getting to know you” section that included queries about favorite colors, books, vacation spots, etc., was “What is your favorite day of the week?” And I put Sunday. One of the other questions was “Employer, City” and I wrote “God, Heaven.” But Sunday really is my favorite day of the week because it’s the one day I get to spend with a thousand different Christian believers all in one building at one time. And, to me, that, just as much if not more than anything else, speaks to the power of our God. It testifies to the miracle of our Savior. It’s amazing to me that so many of us, from different backgrounds and different mindsets and worldviews and opinions and beliefs and customs and traditions and circumstances can be brought together as family in one place to submit to each other and love each and serve each other in the name of Jesus. Amazing.
God creates us, brings us together, and sustains us to be family. And it can be really messy.
As we make the move here at Legacy from a church that does small groups to a Small Groups Church, we talk all the time about how we don’t believe for a second that Small Groups is going to solve all our problems. If anything, it’s going to create a whole new set of problems. When a thousand people make the decision to get intimately involved in each other’s lives, it gets messy. None of us is perfect. We’ve all got our baggage and issues and viewpoints and struggles and faults. It won’t be easy.
Eugene Peterson—by now, you know, one of my favorite authors—writes about the church as a messy community in his book The Jesus Way.
“Community is intricate and complex. Living in community as a people of God is inherently messy. A congregation consists of people of various moods, ideas, needs, experiences, gifts and injuries, desires and disappointments, blessings and losses, intelligence and stupidity, living in proximity and in respect for one another, and believingly in worship of God. It is not easy and it is not simple. Not every situation can be anticipated. Novel combinations of circumstances take us by surprise. No community worth its salt has ever existed very long without attending painstakingly to particular conditions.”
All of this is true. And it’s never more true than when we all get together on Sundays. Despite our differences, we unite together in the blood of Jesus to worship our Father and love each other and serve each other.
Sunday is still my favorite day of the week because I get to see all of it up close. I stand in the back of the worship center during that closing song and benediction and look out over all my brothers and sisters and I’m moved at what God is able to do with his children. How does this continue to happen? I see the faces and the families while I’m preaching, recognizing my brothers and sisters who are hurting, rejoicing, worried, rebelling, working, arguing, and healing. How is that God keeps this thing together? It’s incredible to me.
Every Sunday is a roller coaster for me. A different roller coaster every week. I know every Sunday morning that there will be ups and downs and dangerous turns and even a couple of loops. But the ride is a little different every time. The good and the bad, the rejoicing and the mourning, the praise and the complaints, an exhilerating acceleration I didn’t expect, a gut-wrenching turn I didn’t see coming, all of us in the same car, all in the family of God. Every Sunday.
9-1. How do you argue with that? 9-1. It speaks for itself. And it doesn’t matter who they’ve beaten or how small or large the margin of victory. 9-1 is what it is. It says the Cowboys are a very good football team. And there’s no other way to see it. Even if their pass defense is ranked 24th in the league. Even if Andre Gurod makes every shotgun snap a wild adventure. Even if Flozell Adams moves early like he’s got some kind of false start incentive clause in his contract. Even if Tony Romo throws sidearm. Even if Roy Williams couldn’t cover you on a post route. Even if their number one receiver is a proven ticking time bomb of a quarterback killer and a lockerroom cancer. Even if they don’t have a solid number one running back. 9-1 speaks for itself.
In a league in which it’s extremely difficult to win, the Cowboys keep winning. It’s very impressive. Things bounce their way. They make big plays when they have to. They make up for their mistakes. Their mutual confidence in their coaches and in each other is rare. They really, truly believe they can get to the Super Bowl and win it, regardless of whether they meet the Patriots or the Colts or the ’78 Steelers.
Yesterday’s win over the ‘Skins was impressive. Romo struggled. The secondary got lit up. Nobody appeared to be in sync. Coaches seemed a little confused. Play-calling was suspect.
And they won. They beat a division rival that was desperate for a win, much more desperate than the Cowboys were. Washington needed that game. But the Cowboys wouldn’t let them have it. Very impressive.
I just wish it could have been anybody — ANYBODY — other than Terrell Owens with the four scores.