Monday, January 1, 2018

A Month of Sundays

The rules of the calendar meant that Christmas Day and New Year's Day fell on Monday this year, which meant Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve were on Sundays.  That unusual chronology proved awkward for me.  I felt like we had three Sundays in one week.  I had to keep looking at my appointment calendar to verify what day of the week we were really on and if I had commitments for that time.  Having a newly retired husband didn't help. Every day has seemed like Saturday since he went on permanent vacation.  I told my friend, that December had felt like a month of Sundays.

Then I looked up "month of Sundays."  As we all know, it denotes a very long time--about 30 weeks if you want to be literal about it.  One definition suggests that "a month of Sundays" means not only a long time, but a leisurely time, since Western culture still regards Sunday as a day off from our usual hustle and bustle.  Another entry suggests the expression, first recorded in 1832, was used to denote a long, dreary time, since no one was supposed to have fun on Sundays.  No games, no books but the Bible, no movies, no dances, in extreme cases, no visitors.
Given what happened in December at SPPC, we did not have a month of Sundays. We were neither idle nor dreary, what with a Christmas tea on Sunday, a carol-sing on Sunday, a recipe book to purchase, decorations to put up, a Sunshine lunch, fund-raisers, and three church services in a day and a half.  

All of this reminds me that calendars are a man-made invention.  Our western calendar has been through many versions from the mere counting of days, to the Julian calendar used by the Romans and the Gregorian calendar that we use today.
Then there are calendars from other cultures.  The Jewish calendar, the Chinese calendar (where the year is now 4715) and the Muslim calendar to name just a few.  The Mayan calendar is a 52 year cycle in which no two days have the same name. Makes my obsession with weekends a little ridiculous.

Of course, we have a guide for time.  It's found in Genesis 1:1-5 God created light and dark.  He called the light day and the dark night. 
Or Psalm 90:4 ESV For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night.
Or Psalm 90:2 ESV Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
Or Ecclesiastes 3:1 ESV  For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven. 
Or Hebrews 13:8 ESV 
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Or 2 Peter 3:8-9 ESV 
But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfil his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

With the coming of the new year we'll all be rushing out to buy a calendar or two.  Good to remember that man's many calendars may keep us on schedule for a year, but they do not set God's plans.  Those are eternal.


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