“Normal” Sunday?

This past Sunday, Pastor Todd remarked that we were finally back to a normal Sunday. On the heels of the Christmas Pageant, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, and of course The Boar’s Head Festival things have been quite busy, exciting, and different here at St. Peter’s. We were back to our regular schedule and back to our usual program. No costumes, no extra decorations, just worship. It was a normal, plain old, Sunday morning.

I’ve been thinking about that a lot this week though. Is there any such thing as a “normal” Sunday morning? Think about what we do on Sundays – as friends, neighbors, acquaintances, and strangers, we gather together to sing, pray, and praise God. We gather together to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ. We join together as a community to be reminded of God’s everlasting care, grace, and love for each of us and for the world. When you really think about it there is nothing “normal” about it at all.

Church is special and church is different from so many other things in our lives. How often do you gather with others to sing songs of praise and thanksgiving to God? How often do you join your neighbors in common prayer and concern for the church, the world, and for all people? How often do you hear the Good News of Jesus Christ in Scripture and in proclamation in your daily life? How often do you take an hour of time to reflect on, celebrate, and hear about God’s care, grace, and love?

Church is not “normal”. Church is special and different from so much of the rest of our lives. As we gather in this place, in this community of Christ that is St. Peter’s, we gather to be refreshed and renewed through Word and Sacrament so that we can go back into the “normal” parts of our lives – carrying with us the Good News of Jesus Christ, strengthened in God’s grace, so that we can share the life, love, and joy of Jesus Christ with others.

Sure, we returned to what might be considered a normal schedule for us as a church community after the excitement of the last few weeks but church is not “normal”. Church is special. Church is an oasis of joy and grace and service and love in the midst of the rest of our lives. Church is renewal. Church is our strength. Church is hope and celebration and refreshment in the midst of a “normal” world. Thanks be to God for our not normal at all Sunday mornings!