Monday, October 12, 2009

The real "first day of the week"

- MONDAY, A.M. It's the beginning of a new week. Freshness, opportunity, clean slate, new horizons. We all get a shot at re-creation on a Monday.

For our son, Andrew, there's a little more in the way of brand-new today. Monday; a new week; a new job; a new country; a new continent no less. Talk about new beginnings.

That's why my picture of him is a blur. But it's deliberate, not poor photography - representative of trying to grasp at or hug a rapidly moving object! He was in the States last week for a planning conference, and the image was captured at some U.S. airport.

He's headed for Bahrain. At this writing (9:00 AM, EST) he's in the air, somewhere between Frankfurt, Germany and his destination. Tucked neatly under the seat is Ponce, his furry Italian souvenir. The rest of his "stuff", including the Subaru, is on a container somewhere, slowly making its way to the Middle East. Maybe by Christmas.

I'm interested in what Andrew's life will look like on a small island in the Persian Gulf, traveling two weeks out of each month to places like Afghanistan, Pakistan and points around the Mid East. I admire his sense of adventure, the idea that this is where God has directed his path, and the implications of his overriding question: "What has God got in mind for me in the way of service?"

The new week:
But back to the dateline, and saying this is the beginning of a new week. It's not exactly accurate. (Even though - if you ask - the average person will say "Monday is the beginning of the week.")

Open any calendar and you'll see that Sunday is the first day of the week, even though we tend to tag it as part of the weekend. Most people tend to view Sunday as something that comes as welcome relief at the end of any given week.

But Sunday only works properly when it is experienced as an "opener." Sunday is an opportunity to set the trajectory for the new week, and Monday necessarily transforms into a more purposeful opportunity when we have launched the sequence in the context of worship and the harnessing of possibility in a faith-community the previous day.

So, great Mondays have their genesis (carefully chosen word) in worshipful Sundays. Try it, you'll see - DEREK

Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

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