Sunday, January 23, 2011

A God of Grace for Sunday

One of those Sundays.

Surely you know the kind - the kind that start the night before. Getting back home from an evening spent with friends at eleven p.m. is not a good way to start Sunday. Putting four over-tired little girls to bed, not to mention their completely exhausted parents, when it's almost tomorrow already.

Morning comes. So happens that the pastor is out of town. And the church is down one van driver. So we must spring into actions to plug some gaps. Only no one in this family is springing.

Daddy leaves first to get about making sure church happens the way it is supposed to happen.

At home, finally, finally, all the girls are dressed, hair is fixed to their satisfaction, coats are on, gloves are found. The baby (hungry because there has been no time to nurse) is, despite her vociferous objections, crammed and shoved into her snow suit and buckled into the car seat.

Have we remembered everything? Let's hope so, 'cause there's no time to go back.

Up the hill to fetch the Bear. Back down the hill to a local bakery. (Pastor Dad's class is accustomed to donuts every Sunday morning. Can't let them down.) Man and his granddaughter have arrived at bakery before us to buy two.dozen.donuts. And chat about each choice.

Finally, finally, it's my turn. I choose quickly, trying to remember which ones are favorites and which ones are usually snubbed. "You get one more," the girl behind the counter says. Am I grateful for this? No, I am not. I have to spend approximately three whole seconds to choose another. Is she slower than usual ringing this order up? No?

Pay cash, drop the change. A quarter rolls away under the counter. This is how much I am rushing now - I don't wait for her to pick it up and give it to me. I leave the quarter.

Back in the van. Drive toward church, trying not to speed, or at least, not too much. Stop to pick up sweet elderly lady. It's too cold for her to wait outside, so I get out and go knock on her door. I'm walking in place, trying to keep warm but also trying to contain my impatience. We are late. She is inside, calling the church for another ride. She is surprised to see me.

"I thought maybe you were snowed in," she says. And I wish, yes I do, that I had such an excuse.

We make it to church only about 5 minutes late. Sunday School already started. My kids rush to their classes. I put our coats in Prince Charming's office and sit down to nurse the now starving baby.

Prince Charming meets me in the hall on our way to Sunday School. The clerk is already waiting outside our Sunday School door because I have not filled out the attendance chart. Our teacher has started his lesson.

At one point in the lesson the teacher mentions that Christians should love church (I do), that they will be early in getting there are late staying there. Is it hot in here?

First bell - we are off and running again.

Announcements? And what is the choir singing? Right. "God of Grace."

God of Grace Words and Music by Keith Getty & Jonathan Rea Copyright © 2003 Thankyou Music
God of grace, amazing wonder,
Irresistible and free;
Oh, the miracle of mercy
Jesus reaches down to me.
God of grace, I stand in wonder,
As my God restores my soul.
His own blood has paid my ransom;
Awesome cost to make me whole.

God of grace, who loved and knew me
Long before the world began;
Sent my Saviour down from heaven;
Perfect God and perfect man.
God of grace, I trust in Jesus;
I'm accepted as His own.
Every day His grace sustains me,
As I lean on Him alone.

God of grace, I stand astounded,
Cleansed, forgiven and secure.
All my fears are now confounded
And my hope is ever sure.
God of grace, now crowned in glory,
Where one day I'll see Your face;
And forever I'll adore You
In Your everlasting grace.

I'm the pianist so I'm not singing, but I know this song well and I'm looking at the words as I play. Part way through the first verse it hits me: stand in wonder?

I haven't stood at all today.

Lean on Him alone? Not so far, not today.

Stand astounded? Yes, I'm there. I am astounded that I've forgotten why I love Sundays, why we do what we do. I hated to be late to class not because I was afraid I'd missed something important in the lesson, but because of how it looked.

The choir sang the right song today, whether it sounded good to the congregation and whether anyone else got anything out of it.

My God is a God of grace.

Even for one of those Sundays.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Psalm 23:2-3
Picture credit: Me! This is a picture of Loch Lomond in Scotland. Very peaceful, very still on the day we saw it.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

I'm sorry your Sunday started out so crazy, but I'm grateful for the reminder of God's grace.

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