At Home on a Sunday Morning?

It feels strange, sitting here in our living room drinking hot tea on a Sunday morning. I came home Thursday with one of those nasty, multi-symptom colds and I have not been able to shake it. I will spare you the details. No need to describe the colors I have been coughing up and blowing out or just what keeps me from sleeping at night. I will say that I have had little or no voice since Thursday, something my family finds mildly entertaining. I'm losing all the arguments.

So, here I sit, with my second box of kleenex and my third cup of tea, at home on a Sunday morning. Not off on vacation with the family, not gone a mission trip overseas, not attending some conference or convention, just home. That may not seem like much of a novelty to you, but in my 38 years as a pastor, I can't remember another time when I was sick at home on a Sunday morning.

It feels weird, even weirder since we live right next door to the church, and I can watch our folks coming and going this morning. I watched the early service online so I could see who showed up and how everything went without me. No disappointments. They didn't skip a beat. Why do they need me anyway?

I guess it's down deep in my DNA somewhere, that rare "pastor" gene right next to the "get up and preach" gene on the ladder of my genetic code. Or maybe it's all about my timing, every week moving and working towards Sunday, the clock inside my brain set to remind me as the sun comes up every seventh day, "Preach! Preach! Preach!" Or it may just be the sheer force of habit. I've been working weekends for a long time. It's my routine, the pattern of my life. Who knows?

It does feel strange, but the more I think about it, it's not about me and my internal wiring. It's about the people, my people, all the people of Memorial Baptist Church, the flock that God has put in my care. I love to see them, to greet them, to welcome them to worship. I enjoy the fellowship, the catching up, hearing their stories. I'm excited when I see new faces and make new friends. I marvel as our many little ones seem to grow taller from week to week. And I love to look out from the pulpit into the faces and lives of all those who God has brought together for this journey of faith. What a privilege to open the Book and hopefully offer encouragement, shed some light, apply some timeless truth, rekindle hope in my flock, my family of faith.

That's what it's all about, at least for me. The people, my people, my church, the ones who call me "Pastor," or more often just "Drew." That's what I missed today. My folks still heard a good sermon, thanks to Brooke. But I missed my folks, I missed worshiping together with the people of God.

At home on a Sunday morning. It's not all it's cracked up to be.


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