The familiar scene plays out in churches of all stripes and sizes, all across our land. Our people come to services on Sunday morning and they’re tired. Worn out. And truth be told, the very fact that they’re even in attendance at all is somewhat of a victory.
Because they very easily could have stayed at home in their pajamas and had a leisurely Sunday morning with a cup of coffee and their iPad. But their love for the Lord, and their commitment to His church, compels them to come. Sleepy and all.
If we’re being honest, we pastors are not immune from this either. There are Sundays we come to church tired, run-down, under-prepared, and not fresh spiritually, emotionally, or mentally. (I have finished more than one sermon in the wee hours of Sunday morning.) We love to blame this on how demanding our job is, just as our church folks would likely justify their Sunday weariness by pointing out how busy they’ve been during the week, or how crazy their schedule is.
But here’s the thing... I think all of us (pastor and congregation alike) can do better. And, more importantly, God deserves better!
The Bible teaches that we should give God our first and best (Lev 23:10-12). Thus, if there’s any day of the week that we should be at our most rested and absolute sharpest, it’s the Lord’s Day! We should come to church on Sunday morning prepared to give nothing less than our entire heart, soul, mind and strength to the Lord in worship.
So how do we accomplish this? How do we overcome the zombie apocalypse on Sunday morning? I’m going to suggest a radical course of action here...
What would happen if Sunday actually started on Saturday night?
What if instead of staying up to ungodly hours on Saturday night, we went to bed early in anticipation of Sunday morning? (This may mean saying “no” to that Saturday night movie, ballgame, or social event.) What if we laid out our clothes for church on Saturday night? What if we set our alarm clock so that we’d have plenty of time on Sunday morning to take a shower, get dressed, and eat a good breakfast without feeling rushed? What if we spent a few moments before bed going over our Sunday School lesson and praying for the next day’s services? What if we acted like what we do on Sunday morning is the single most important thing we will do all week?