I woke this morning to this – and then got on the horn and canceled church. Yaaayyyy – a snow day from Jesus!
I must confess – in 18 years of pastoring, this is the third time we’ve had to cancel church on Sunday because of a blizzard – and I love it. Ssshhhhhhh – don’t tell anyone – my church family may dock my pay. But seriously, for my church family, and for you, dear reader outside my church family, please hear me out. I want to share my thoughts on why I really do enjoy staying home on Sunday as a result of being snowed in.
1. On a day like this I am reminded that God’s Glory is more important than my vocation. Not that preaching the gospel is glory-less, but that Creation is telling the glory of God (Psalm 19:1-2; Job 38-40; Romans 1). And a morning like this on the Lord’s Day, at least I think so, is one way that our Lord is telling his church, “I love your worship of me – look outside and see my handiwork. It is not me that Needs you, but rather it is you who Needs me – and I’m happy to serve you with a little more time to rest at home today” – (Acts 17:24-25).
2. On that point, when I am snowed in on the Lord’s Day, it reminds me that one day, the vocation of pastoring a church will be abolished (Rev. 21:1-4). This means that while we are cuddled up at home today, I can see a time coming when we will no longer seek the Lord by faith, led by a pastor, for the whole Church will know the Lord face to face. One day, my unemployment will be the best thing for the Church!
3. Personally, I love the extra rest. It took nearly 15 hours this week to get ready for today, since I also plan and prepare to lead the worship team and play a variety of instruments in worship, on top of preaching the sermon (BTW, in the bible, it was not the musician who led worship, it was the elders. If they happened to be musically gifted, well and good. But worship is an elder/pastoral responsibility – not a groovy-hip-Fender Stratocaster-holes in the jeans-rocker wanna-be performance). Then, take the 15 hours from the week and add nearly 7 hours of Sunday to it and you have the grand total of about 22 hours a week invested just for the Lord’s Day. Excuse me for a moment while I get another cup of piping hot coffee . . .
4. Ahh! Sssiiipppp . . . Ok. Where was I? Oh yes. Do you know why Paul pleaded with Timothy to “come before winter” (2 Tim. 4:21)? It’s because once winter comes, he won’t be able to come. Simple Conclusion: Winter shuts ministry down. Hhhmmm? Ok . . . let’s not push a false implication. But! Winter is one way that the Lord slows you down and makes you stay home – for your own good. Winter-time is not governed by Mr. Snow Miser, but a glorious and Self-Sustained God who can manage quite well without us.
5. Finally, when deprived of something good, it creates more hunger for it – and that’s a good thing. Worship with my church family is the same for me. When I’m not worshiping on the Lord’s Day with my church family, I miss them very much. I cannot imagine my life without my brothers and sisters in Christ. Very few things remind me of my identity than the members of Christ that I live my life with. This serves as a comforting witness to my soul: If you really do miss being with your family in Christ, then you must be a member of his body. Such good news! And therein lies the Gospel: It was upon Jesus laid, our sins that took us to the grave. But when Jesus died on the cross, he gave me a lifetime and then some, of all good things – including Snow Days, on the Lord’s Day.
Man do I love my recliner, coffee, blanket, sweat-pants, more coffee, soft music, the bible, more coffee, great food, pleasant phone calls, . . . did I mention coffee?