Do you remember back in college, or high school, when you got to sleep in on a Saturday or Sunday morning? Remember that feeling of waking up not sure if it was late morning or early afternoon? Do you remember when you couldn’t decide if you were going to have breakfast or just jump right into lunch?
Yeah me either. I’ve got young kids. I don’t remember the last time I slept past 6:30 am. Most days I’ve expended most of my daily allotment of energy by the time the sun is up. So the idea of sleeping in, of grabbing a little extra me time in an already over-programmed schedule, well that sounds magical. So what are you all doing here?
This week we start a new sermon series we’re calling True or False. We are told so many stories each and every day, stories about ourselves, our world, our lives it can be hard to distinguish fact from fiction, truth from falsehood. Over the next few weeks, we’re going to be looking at a number of statements that can be true or false, depending on where you sit.
And from where I sit, as a young parent, with lots of demands on my time and my family’s time, to have a window of time that’s unscheduled sounds wonderful. It sounds like Sabbath.
And isn’t that what Sunday is all about? A day of rest and renewal. A day to refuel for the week ahead. It’s true. In Mark’s gospel, Jesus chastises the religious leaders by saying that, “The Sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the Sabbath…”
The Sabbath is a gift for us, a gift for God’s special and beloved creatures. What better way to celebrate it then by sleeping in?
The only thing that I need more than an extra few hours of sleep, is a regular reminder of who I am and whose I am. We live in a world of difficult and competing narratives. We are bombarded with stories that demand our allegiance and tell us what to believe and buy. Daily our priorities are challenged. Daily we are told we aren’t enough, that we’re deficient, that we’ll never measure up.
When we show up on Sunday morning we are told through word and meal that we are loved unconditionally by the God who made heaven and earth. When we show up on Sunday morning we are drawn into a community, we are drawn into the body of Christ, not because of anything that we’ve done or think but because God has decided we’re worth loving.
This is all just this close to being too good to be true. It’s a powerful promise, but one that’s easy to forget amidst all the others that tell us we’re not enough. So we come back week after week, to be told again, to taste and see the goodness of God. We get ourselves out of bed, not to praise God as though God needs to hear nice things about himself, but instead, we praise God so that we might remember what God has done for us.
In this morning’s reading from the book of Exodus, this is precisely what the people have forgotten. Moses has disappeared on the mountain, to be in conversation with the Lord, and the people grow restless. They start to look for different answers to their insecurity and anxiety about being stuck in the wilderness. They try to fashion their own gods, trying to make sense of the world around them, failing to recognize that the one who delivered them from slavery, the one who freed them from oppression had promised them he would never let them go.
It’s here at this table. It’s here at this font. It’s here in the words we hear and songs that we sing that God comes to us again and again, setting us free from all those things that seek to lay claim to us and giving us the freedom that comes from being loved without condition.
There are so many other things that you could be doing on a Sunday morning, but come to be told the truth, come to known by God and by one another. Come to challenged and changed by the presence of God who promises to be here week and week, year after year. Come so that you can be sent out into the world as God’s agents of grace and mercy for a world that needs precisely what God offers in and through each one of us.