The Sabbath, or lack thereof
Kristen and I both grew up in households where our family calendar revolved around the church's calendar. Yes school and soccer practice and other activities were there too, but ultimately church was the most important.
Even now, I look forward to Sundays and Wednesdays. I remember how excited I was on Thursday afternoons when we had children's choir practice. When Christmas and Easter musical presentations were kicking into high gear there were weeks where I was at church six out of seven days.
I defined myself primarily as a Christian and member of Ferry Farm Baptist Church. Yes I also defined myself as an 8th grader, soccer player, and friend, but I was taught and came to appreciate that church was priority numero uno.
From the column:
Such change hits others. A half-century ago, most conservative Protestants fought for blue laws and against store-openings on Sunday, while decrying Christians' almost idolatrous indulgence in sports. Today preachers cut their sermons short so they can beat their members to seats at the afternoon pro football game. In some places these changes have led to decline of church attendance, while in others it has changed the character of allegiance.
I thought of T. S. Eliot's obituary to UK church life. These were "decent godless people: Their only monuments the asphalt roads and a thousand lost golf balls." Are Americans joining them?
I pray not - and I pray I can help reverse the tide in whatever way.