A wonderful recording of a jazz song Mark and I like begins with someone shouting to the band, “Hey! You guys know anything slow?” Someone in the band yells back, “Yeah. January.”
January may be the slow season for jazz clubs, but this Sunday, the Sunday after Easter, is often considered the “slowest” day of the church year. The adrenaline of Holy Week has passed, visiting family has headed home, and people are clinging to the last day of spring break. It can seem like a letdown, after the buoyant, noisy celebrations of Easter.
It can also be a potent reminder that all our Sundays are in need of quiet. Yes, we want our sanctuary always to be filled with people and the joyous sounds of worship, but within this holy space, we each need to be able to slow down our minds and quiet our hearts. All too often, our heads and hearts are filled with the noise of daily life when they should be filled with quiet reflection. We’re tempted to rush through the Sunday service and regard it as one more item on our daily checklist – a task to be accomplished rather than a blessed opportunity to be still in the presence of the Lord and of one another, a sacred moment in which we can open our hearts fully to His grace and open our minds fully to His Word. It is only when we take the time to do so that we are able to be fully receptive and know His will for our lives.
The Lord commands us to remember the Sabbath and keep it holy; some of us remember the days when stores were closed and activities weren’t scheduled on Sundays. At today’s breakneck pace, it’s easy to race right by Sunday and forget that it, above all others, is His day. As we move forward to proclaim the glory and promise of Easter, let us also remember to find the moments to slow down, to be quiet, and to seek true communion with our Lord. May those moments bless us, enrich us, and embolden us for the days ahead – days that may be slow, days that may be fast, but all days that are made by Him and entrusted to us.
“[The Lord] says, “Be still, and know that I am God;I will be exalted among the nations,I will be exalted in the earth.”Psalm 46:10