SUNDAY IS WAR
A WEEKLY CASE OF THE MONDAYS
On Monday morning your alarm goes off, sounding the start of the work week. If you are like most people, you will not jump out of bed quoting the clever sentiments you will later post on your Instagram about kicking Monday in the face. Like most people, your wit doesn't kick in until you’ve had your morning coffee. So, when the alarm goes off you will wake up and sigh, “ugh! Monday.” You have started your work week off with what is often referred to as “a case of the Mondays”.
If we’re being honest Monday is no different than most days, our Tuesday through Friday mornings evoke similar emotions. For most of us our weeks are broken into the work week and the weekend. There is a clear start and a clear end to both. Our Monday morning alarm begins the work-week and the first round of drinks on Friday evening kicks off the weekend. The work week is where we are slaves to our jobs and to the demands of others, and the weekend is for “me” time - our time to escape from the bondage of work, and enjoy our momentary freedom.
Culturally, the weekend has become our functional heaven and the work week is more like Egyptian slavery. We, like the Hebrew people, groan inwardly, longing for the day where we are free to worship in the wilderness on our way to the promise land. So when the weekend finally arrives, we are ready to worship! Except we aren't worshiping the one true and living God, we fashion for ourselves some small idol that we can control and functionally worship in the place of God. We complain all week long about work, longing for our functional heaven — the weekend. We worship hobbies and a myriad of other self-made idols with all our heart, mind, and strength.
If you are a single male you might sleep in and fast from breakfast because you’re satisfying your appetite with the worship of video games. I was talking to a guy his 40’s the other day who admitted to playing video games all weekend long when his girlfriend wasn’t staying with him. Literally, from the time he got off work on Friday to Sunday evening he would play video games, only taking breaks to occasionally eat junk food, go to the restroom, and sleep.
For some it’s video games, for others its brunch. It seems that everyone has an idea of what they want their promised weekend of worship to look like. We dream about it, we think about it, we plan for it, and when the weekend comes we have an entire worship service revolving around it. What is it for you?
Sunday, the second day of the weekend and historically the day when God’s people gather to worship corporately, or as most people would describe it, the day to sleep-in and recover from Friday and Saturday night. After all, it’s your last day of the weekend, and it’s important to finish your weekend strong! All week long you’ve complained like Israel wondering in the wilderness, longing for the promised weekend and now you’ve arrived.
The odd thing is, even for most Christians, when we wake up on Sunday, there seems to be a lot less zeal in our hearts than there was on Saturday morning. Sunday morning often feels like Monday morning. When (and if) your alarm goes off on Sunday you are back to groaning and complaining, wishing you were back in the slavery of Egypt (Friday morning) so that you could worship your true love on Saturday— yourself.
SUNDAY IS WAR
I want you to consider something. Perhaps your emotional response from Saturday to Sunday has less to do with sleeping in and more to do with worship. I’m not talking about your church's “worship service.” I’m talking about the god you worship. We must see our emotional responses are like smoke from the burnt offering to the idol we are worshiping.
I’m not suggesting you to make an attitude adjustment and just fake it until you make it. I’m suggesting that every morning, but especially Sunday mornings, you make war. When your alarm goes off, and you want to skip out on worshiping the God who saves alongside your brothers and sisters in Christ so that you can worship the idol of whatever, you proceed forward, smashing the idol, and go to church.
“And yet, the simple act of going to church—I’m assuming here a church who preaches the gospel and declares that Jesus Christ is King—is in and of itself a declaration of war. When your weary legs rise for another verse of the chorus and you offer praise to the King of kings and Lord of lords, you are saying, in effect, that the reigning prince of the power of the air, Satan (Eph. 2:2), is really not the king he thinks he is. There is another King, another Kingdom and it’s coming one day in its fullness and power. When you gather with your fellow believers and worship Christ, you are saying to the rest of the world that man is not ultimate. You are saying that the great movements of this world may have some power, but ultimately they are part of God’s gathering of history to himself and for his kingdom. When you worship the risen Christ every Sunday at your church, you are telling the world that in your life, for this moment, Christ is ultimate. He is to be worshipped above all else. You’re making a statement that there is someone deserving of more adulation and worship than the lesser things to which we pledge allegiance. You’re inviting them to ask you, “Why do you think the kingdom of God is better than the kingdom of man? What is it about Christ that gets you to roll out of bed, get dressed, get your family dressed, hop in the car, and go to church every single Sunday?” – Daniel Darling
We are at war when we gather each week to worship. Not with other people but within ourselves. Our hearts are idol factories, we are alway trying to find a new object to worship. This is why the regular and faithful gathering of God’s people each week is so important. It provides an opportunity to expose and uproot our other loves. When the bible is preached, songs are sung, prayers are prayed, communion shared, community enjoyed, and our first-fruits are given, we are reminded and empowered to fight the fight of faith in our everyday lives.
Sunday is not a social gathering or a therapy group. It is not entertainment, brunch, or a hobby. We are not consumers, clients, or simply members of an audience. We are God’s people. We live for God’s purposes. We serve in the strength of His power. We’ve been sent to accomplish God’s purposes in God’s world.
Jesus is alive and Jesus is king, and on Sunday His church will gather to worship. I invite you to gather with the rest of the King’s kids to worship. And may God rework, refocus, and reform our hearts to His word, His will, and His ways as we seek to worship Him in all we do.