"Sunday is a day of contemplation not because it is a day without work, a day when shops and banks and offices are closed, but because it is sacred to the mystery of Resurrection. Sunday is the "Lord's Day" not in the sense that , on one day out of the week, one must stop and think of Him, but because it breaks into the ceaseless, "secular" round of time with a burst of light out of a sacred eternity. We stop working and rushing about on Sunday not only in order to rest up and start over again on Monday, but in order to collect our wits and realize the relative meaninglessness of the secular business which fills the other six days of the week, and taste the satisfaction of a peace which surpasses understanding and which is given us by Christ. Sunday reminds us of the peace that should filter through the whole week when our work is properly oriented.
...Sunday is a contemplative day...because everyone, Christian or not, who celebrates the day spiritually, and accepts it as its face value, opens his heart to the light of Christ, the light of the Resurrection. In doing so he grows in love, in faith, and is able to "see" a little more of the mystery of Christ. He certainly may have no clear idea of what is happening, but the grace of God produces its effects in his heart. Sunday, then, is a day of grace, a day of light, in which light is given."
~ Thomas Merton, The Inner Experience, p. 138-139
The sun had already made it's ascent above the treeline as I opened the backdoor to take our dogs out this morning. The warm breeze carrying with it a subtle and spontaneous chill, the kind that plays with the senses, greeted me. A chorus of birds sang in the new day, giving praise to the God who sustains their hearts, who fills their tiny lungs with air and who gives them their song. A vibrant blue above, soft and gentle light filtering all around, my heart, like a flower in early morning sprung open, eager to be drenched in the light of God.
Sometimes the revelation of the radiance and presence of God can almost be overwhelming, and very humbling, causing me to want to kneel down before the God who is in and through and around me and all that surrounds me and my senses. In the song of the birds, in the hue of the sky, in the tender blades of grass furiously poking through fertile soil. I prayed that my heart would be fertile this day, fertile to receive the seeds of contemplation and embrace the light and love of God's grace to spur on the growth of spiritual fruit and provide me with direction in how I might best use what God has given me to bring Him Glory.
I have to admit, lately Sundays have consisted of a flurry of activities...birthday parties, chores, all kinds of things that have distracted me from contemplating God and opening up to His love, letting it fill me with its light. This Sunday is truly a gift because we have nothing planned. I've decided to take hold and seize it, every glorious moment of it, and submit it to God. This Sunday will truly be Sacred, as every Sunday is intended to be.
In what ways are you going to make this Sunday sacred? Will you be going to church and/or spending time in God's natural sanctuary of earth and sky? (That's my plan! :) ) Will you spend time with others in fellowship or perhaps prayer or studying scripture? How does your Sunday differ from the rest of your week? Will you open up to His light and love and embrace the seeds of reflection he wants to plant in your heart?