William Andrew Dillard
Parson to Person
“On a Sunday morning sidewalk, I’m wishing, Lord, that I was stoned.. ‘Cause there’s something in a Sunday ; That makes a body feel alone. And there’s nothing short a’ dying; That’s half as lonesome as the sound; Of the sleeping city sidewalk; And Sunday morning coming down.”
So goes the mournful lyrics of the late country singer Johnny Cash as he depicted the feelings of a worldly, sinner faced with the loneliness and conviction of “Sunday morning coming down.” It is a well known feeling by too many in our world today, but why?
His lyrics explain that part of it is a terrible hangover from the night before. Another part is the accompanying messy, unkempt lifestyle of dirty clothes and house. Another is the complete absence of the nightlife, and scattering to their own corners of misery those who shared those false senses of a good time. Still another is seeing the joy of a small child playing, and a father swinging his little girl; reminiscent of clean, decent, good-times long gone. Still another is the smell of someone frying chicken, a smell of home, but not his home. Then there was the worshipful sounds of songs coming from a nearby church, then far away a church bell ringing, all bringing back gut-wrenching memories of a good life lost somewhere in the den and noise of sin. Truly, to someone in that situation, Sunday morning in its worshipful quietness was dreaded. How different it is for an obedient child of God who so looks forward to the joy of worship and fellowship with God’s wonderful people.
However, I fear there is yet another class of people dealing with Sunday morning in quite a different, but wrongful way. These are the nominal Christians who live in a breakneck world of speed, activities, and responsibilities. They see Sunday morning as a day of selfishness: to rest, to recreate; to do what they could not get done in the week. Seems there is little compunction or remorse in that absence of joy about what God expects and looks for in one’s manner of life. The mention of church brings conviction, but it is quickly passed off in the determination that what they want to do is right. How then will they mourn and cry when their opportunity to go to church is gone, and knowing they must soon stand face to face with their Creator? What will they hear in head and heart about “Sunday morning coming down?”