Jordan B. Davis
Church Relations Officer
Recently, our lectionary has focused on how we put our faith into action and in my own sermons I have personally focused quite a bit on how we, as Christians, engage with one another in our daily lives. Sometimes I see in myself something that I also see in others: our loving and caring “Sunday selves” don’t always carry through the week. I am sure each one of us has experienced this in some way, whether it was our own actions or those of a neighbor.
On Sunday morning, we often find ourselves and/or our friends and family focusing on God’s call more than any other time during the week. Sunday morning includes welcoming everyone who comes through the door of the building with a smile and a hug before heading into the sanctuary to play an active role in worship and slipping out to set up the fellowship snacks in the hall during the final hymn. The atmosphere of worship helps us, and others gathered for worship, focus or own actions on praising God.
But…. Monday comes.
Monday brings a new plethora of deadlines, meetings, responsibilities, and social activities. Even if Sunday’s sermon is still hanging on, by lunch on Monday, it may be drifting out of our awareness. Tuesday adds more stress– another full day into the work week and three more days until the weekend. Too many things to prepare and think about, no time to sit with Sunday’s scripture and reflection it even for a second. By the time Saturday rolls around, we may have forgotten what last Sunday’s message was about and our actions and words have migrated far from reflecting the love and grace of God.
My question is: How do we continue to encourage our parishioners, our colleagues in ministry, and even ourselves so that we do not live a life that contradicts our faith- speaking and acting one way on Sunday morning while slowly leaving that behind as we move through the course of the week?
Today’s world offers plenty of distractions and opportunities to turn our focus away from God and toward the expectation of others. All too often, we can find ourselves moving away from Sunday morning when our focus is set on God and we discern how to live out God’s Word– into the everyday where God’s word doesn’t fit as easily as we might expect. Our actions may not reflect our faith; our words might cause others to stumble. Sometimes we have tough days, or weeks. Sometimes making sure that we carry God’s Word into the world through our own lives can seem like a struggle. However, the joy of being a Christian is that we are not alone; we have the support of our brothers and sisters in our Christian community. Just as we worship God in community on Sunday morning, we are here to encourage one another and continue worshipping God in community throughout the week, through both our words and our actions. This can come by way of a phone call, a personal email, or a quick visit. It could happen by making a little extra dinner and sharing it with someone we know may be going through a hard time. Simply reminding someone, personally, that they have been in your thoughts and prayers can offer the encouragement and reminder of how we are each called to live every day. I would challenge all of us to also encourage the congregation to do this for one another, as the body of Christ.
How, as congregational leaders, can we empower one another and our congregations to care for one another and live lives of “Every Day Christians?” How are you doing this in your own congregation?