“It’s a good thing I went to worship this morning or I don’t know how I’d deal with Wegmans today!” That was Kate’s comment a few weeks ago when we decided shopping at Wegmans on a Sunday afternoon DURING the Eagle’s game might result in fewer shoppers and less aggravation. Typically we avoid doing the week’s shopping on the weekend as you have to park far from the entrance (although it does help rack up more Fitbit steps), and with so many more shoppers in the aisles it makes navigating them an exercise in patience and politeness. So after saying, “Excuse me, but would you move your cart a bit (because it’s right in the middle of the aisle) so I can get by” twenty times in ten aisles we end up in what had to have been the slowest checkout line in the store.
That’s when Kate shared her revelation. After my chuckle she added, “Seriously, I have found myself repeating some of the scripture readings under my breath and remembering your sermon and hearing the hymns in my head and all of them are really helping to have the patience to not blow a gasket right now. I don’t know how people can deal with Wegmans on Sunday if they haven’t gone to church in the morning!”
While I won’t guarantee worship before Wegmans will always result in a tolerable experience I will say that worship does ground us in living God’s “kingdom life” amidst the challenges and heartaches of the world we live in. It gives a God’s “lens” through which to see the world as revealed in scripture and especially Jesus’ life in the Gospels. It becomes the framework for how we interpret life and how to engage in our day-to-day rituals, routines, and relationships from a Christ-centered perspective.
Luther’s explanation of the Third Commandment, “Remember the Sabbath day, and keep it holy” reminds us that “we are to fear and love God, so that we do not despise preaching or God’s word, but instead keep that word holy and gladly hear it and learn it.” We keep God’s word holy when we allow the Holy Spirit to have it become a part of who we are; how we think, speak and act. Gathering for worship on Sunday is a convenient way to keep the commandment, but it also enables us to start and engage in our week that in these times seem so tumultuous from a kingdom life perspective rather than one of a sin sick world. So before you begin the week or head to Wegmans on a Sunday, consider scheduling worship into the day. You may be surprised how much it helps you get through the congestion of your day and week. Just don’t count on it getting you a parking spot close to the entrance of Wegmans that day.