Sunday nights are interesting times for me. I’m usually very tired and feeling resistant to face another week. I believe that’s all very providential, because it produces in me a very raw, stripped down kind of experience — ministry is not enough. Jan is not enough. My kids are not enough. Sports certainly are not enough. This is not some anxious list of a disgruntled, malcontent. Jesus is enough.
Jan shows me Jesus in her gracious support and help to me from 6am (after I’m long gone) until we’re in bed. The kids show me Jesus in the way we interact during family worship… often through fighting to be gracious when no one wants to focus. I see Jesus in the way little Lydia knows to get the Bible every evening (just when I feel like I blow it as a spiritual leader, I get this crazy, tiny piece of encouragement from these little hands that look at me and lift up God’s word to me). So, God is good and Jesus is enough. The Spirit testifies this truth on Sunday nights.
It was a good morning. The Word of God was read, sung, prayed and proclaimed. We had scriptures from an OT prophet, the Psalms, Paul, and the beloved disciple, John. Think about that! The Word of Almighty God runs through our services every week (thank you John Mueller for your faithful orchestration in this). You heard that Word from other pastors, a deacon and a chorus of voices — the body of Christ. Christ was exalted by long-time members, new members, member candidates, and throng of college students back in town. It was a good morning.
Honestly, I feel so behind in so many things. I feel like I’ve bitten off way more than I could chew (September – oral defense / October – Chicago marathon / November – baby due!!! / December – graduation)… all with a huge “Lord willing” at the end. Of course these are all blessings and good things to me. May God make them for my good because they are gospel-oriented for His good. Even these statements are the pinnings of a pastor on Sunday night.
The one thing that goes so deep to the core of my emotion on this Sunday PM is relationship. My relationship with my family, my church, my God. Love runs deep. Deeper than fatigue or the stress of pressing into another week (love can “cover” that ungodly stress too). This love finds its root in the propitiation of Christ for my sins (1 John 4:7-21). Nothing is deeper than that. “Thank you, Jesus, for bearing God’s wrath in my place!” What sweet relief. His love runs deep.
These are the words of a (somewhat) recovering melancholic pastor on just one more Sunday night. I love you, church!