How was last Sunday? Do Sundays stand out in your family, or do entire weekends just pass by in a blur of shopping, chores, socialising, sports, maybe church, ending in a frantic rush to get things ready for Monday morning?
As Christians we know that Sunday is supposed to be day of rest, but have we ever stopped to consider what that really means and how we might in fact make it a day of rest?
The one hour or so we might spend at church is important, but I would argue that we need a greater boundary around Sunday – not just an hour but a whole day devoted to thinking about the things of God and loving our family and perhaps also our friends.
The busy-ness of our society has encroached on all areas of our life – including what is supposed to be a whole day of rest to restore and strengthen our souls.
St Edith Stein was a philosopher who lived in the 1900s. She was a Jewish convert to Catholicism and became a Discalced Carmelite nun before her death during WWII in the concentration camp at Aushswich.
In her essay on the spirituality of the Christian woman she wrote that Sunday,
…must be a great door through which celestial life can enter in to everyday life, and strength for the work of the entire week.
If you’re a parent, you know you will always be busy, right? But I propose that if we keep Sundays firmly in our mind as set apart from the rest of the week, as sacred, our busy-ness during the week becomes more purposeful.
We organise ourselves during the rest of the week so that we don’t have to go the shops on Sunday, or do too much housework or other jobs around the house. We can focus better on our relationships.
Even if we have to work or have other unavoidable commitments on Sundays we can still prepare a meal with more care than we normally would during the week, we might try to be more affectionate with our children and our spouse, and other family members or friends.
We can make Sunday more special, we can restore the idea of Sunday being the Lord’s day, a feast day, a celebration and a day to enjoy a taste of what heaven will be like.
Now, we probably won’t pull this off perfectly every Sunday. But if we are trying every week to set Sunday apart then it will happen more often than if we never tried. It isn’t easy and if we believe it’s important to keep our Sundays sacred we’ll have to plan for them and fight for them week after week. With a whole day devoted to happiness, rest, and our closest relationships, we are bound to face every other day more peacefully.