By Kay Stoltz
“Grandma, I don’t feel good,” I whined. “I can’t go to church today, I feel awful.”
She had come to get me up at some ungodly hour. It was the first day of summer vacation, for heaven’s sake, and I wasn’t even awake. So tired, I convinced myself that church was too much in my weak state. However, I was sure that given some rest, I’d be fine for a picnic or the lake later. I didn’t want to miss a single minute of vacation.
“Well, too bad. But if you don’t feel well enough for church, you won’t be able to go to the lake, will you?”
“What? Oh, no.” I had forgotten that little detail, the summer rule.
“Get up, wash your face, you’ll feel better.” And of course, I did.
Grandma’s rule: Summer vacation from school was not a vacation from church. God is first, and we honor the Sabbath by worshipping in church. God didn’t take a vacation, and neither do we.
The church had no air conditioning, therefore we might not sing all five verses of a hymn that day, and we could relax our dress code. Nevertheless, attend church we did. And we felt better. Church, even to a child, set the tone for the day and week. Grandma was an important person in the church, and I basked in her shadow. It didn’t hurt to receive compliments for attending church, such a conscientious young person. Plus, they always had good treats.
Today, grandma’s rules don’t apply to my church. Sunday is not sacrosanct. Attendance is down, even with the occasional visitor vacationing here. Weekly and monthly meetings and other church activities are put on hiatus or limited. The choir, for example, takes the summer off. Last week, when I mentioned a new book to study for our prayer group, the response was,
“I can’t do that until September, too much going on with vacation and company. Talk to me then.”
God doesn’t take a vacation. I echo Grandma’s thought. God doesn’t say that He now will answer prayers only on certain days, or that some prayers are too complicated to deal with now. That sounds silly and ignorant, doesn’t it? But don’t we say something similar? Is it theologically sound, can we defend it?
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