I’ve been in quite a contemplative mood this past week. Not sure why. Maybe because I see my country turning in a direction I never thought it would, no matter who wins this upcoming election. Anyway, this morning I’ve been thinking about all the Sunday mornings of my life.There’s been a lot of change over the years, but the one constant has always been that church is the focus.
Growing up, Sunday meant Saturday night hair washing, a bath, getting my hair set in what seemed like a hundred tiny pin curls. There were clothes reserved for Sundays only. Remember Sunday clothes, school clothes, play clothes? I loved my Sunday clothes, especially if I had pretty shoes.We’d get dressed, Mom would brush out the Shirley Temple curls, and then we’d sit quietly and wait. No getting messed up. No getting dirty. I loved church, and always anticipated seeing friends I didn’t go to school with. Loved the opening exercises, where we sang and had Bible drills, and usually a flannel graph story. Church itself was a solemn affair back then, but not dull. We just knew we were in a special place. I loved the big pipe organ, and the congregation rising to sing Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty. Still give me goose bumps to think about it.
In my teens, I did my own hair. No more Shirley Temple, believe me. The “flip” was the in thing for longer hair, and we teased and sprayed. When my hair was shorter, it was less trouble. I went back and forth in length, enjoyed playing around with different styles. Dad had become the pastor of a little church in southern Minnesota, and I often got to play the piano. Also, I taught little kids, and was involved with my mom and sister in a trio; later, began to do solo work. Youth group was fun in the evenings, and we almost always had company for Sunday dinner.
College was so different. No more family stuff. It was a leisurely day, and I looked forward to it. For one thing, there would be no work. I had a cashier job in a grocery store, and back then there weren’t any stores open on Sundays. It was good. Things sure were different 50 years ago! There was also dating going on, so special care with the hair, the makeup I was just starting to use, and the dress for the day. The preaching was good. The music was always wonderful.
Then I got married, and at first Sunday mornings were fairly easy. But– along came four babies, and Sunday mornings became much more complicated. I’m a very organized person, and by the time the fourth baby came along, I had it down to a science. We always enjoyed a special breakfast on Sunday, and the kids didn’t get dressed until after we ate! I usually was also making meal preparations while breakfast was under way. Terry was on duty with the church bus ministry, so getting everyone else going was entirely up to me. Somehow, we were always ready to go in time. I do remember feeling worn out before we ever got to church, but it was always worth it. The church was big, full of excitement. The music was always great, and the teaching and preaching as well. We had a church family that we loved, Those were very good years at the church we attended.
Well, time passes and things have changed. I’m still up early, because it’s about a 40-minute drive to church now. I don’t fix a big breakfast any more. We’ve changed the way we eat as we’ve grown older. Terry takes care of himself, and I sit here with my bagel and my coffee, relaxing with some good music in the peace and stillness before Terry gets up. It’s just a bit after 7 a.m., and we’ll leave around 8:30. It’s taken us a little longer to feel completely comfortable in our new church, mostly because of the distance, but that’s getting better all the time. We’re becoming as much a part of the ministry as we can, and we’re enjoying getting to know people.
The thing that has been the glue down through the years has always been the Word preached faithfully, taught faithfully. The love of God, the dedication to His Word, has united people who share out faith with us all through the years. It’s a great heritage.
I love Sunday morning.