“So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that God had done in Creation.” – Genesis 2:1-3
Sunday afternoons are a wasteland. Even when it’s not gray and rainy and can’t figure itself out, it often feels gray and rainy and not-able-to-figure-itself-out.
Somehow, there is always not enough energy and too much day left at the end of the day on Sunday afternoons. The kids are at each other, the dishes pile up even though you’ve done them three times already, the newspaper and the blankets and the socks are everywhere, the aftermath of some orgy of relaxation you can’t quite remember having.
I feel guilty admitting my abhorrence of Sunday afternoons because it is one of only two days (one day, for billions of folks) that humans give themselves off from work. I feel even guiltier because it is the Sabbath day for Christians; it is set aside for God, and anything set aside for God should not make us want to put our kids in front of the TV with a bowl of Cheetos while we surf the Internet. Should we be in there putting on sock puppet shows with those dirty socks, and making our children belly-laugh?Shouldn’t we be out dancing in the drizzle?
Then again, is this not one more gift of God for the people of God? The luxury of being able to squander a Sabbath.
God of Sabbaths, Remind us that even you needed to rest, and that your rest did not involve high-production-value TV sequences depicting Living Life To the Fullest. Help us to see you as you would like to see us more often: in a comfy spot, with the people we love, giving ourselves permission to do nothing at all.
Molly Baskette is senior minister of First Church Somerville UCC in Somerville, MA, and the author of the book Real Good Church: How Our Church Came Back from the Dead and Yours Can Too.