Sunday, November 13, 2005

Sunday in the South

Sundays in the South usually revolve around family. Most decent folk attend the church of their choice here in the Bible belt. For some it is a means to assuage our guilt from the weekend's activities. For others it is a social gathering, a time to fellowship with neighbors and community. For many of us it is family tradition; our roots go deep in the local church. And still, there are a few of us left who attend church as a true act of worship and thanksgiving to God for his blessings. At some point in my life, all these reasons were true. It depended on the stage of life I was in at the moment.

Most Sunday afternoons revolve around big family dinners and naps or recreation. I remember, as a child, going to Granny's house every Sunday. Her table would be overflowing with homecooked goodness. My cousins would all be there, as well as my uncles and aunts. It was an extended family gathering. Without fail, there was fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, and sweet tea. And the blessing was said before the meal.

There is a bit of sadness that we have lost that somewhere down the line. Families don't always grow up and stay in the same town. They don't always attend the home church. They don't always keep up with the cousins. Grandparents grow elderly and pass away. Some of our traditions fall by the way. And I think it is a shame that my son will not have those memories. What will he have?

At the very least I want him to have memories of the three of us spending Sundays together--enjoying each other as a family. I want him to have a solid foundation in faith and God. I want him to know the Bible stories I was taught as a child. I want him to cherish the hymns of the church. I want him to be able to pass them down to his children someday. Times and seasons may change. But God will never change. And that big black Book--that Book that has meant so much to so many through the ages, that roadmap of life, has not changed, nor will change in the ages to come. When my son grows up and Sunday rolls around, I want him to know where his Book is...and take it with him to the house of God. That's my mother's cry. Is it yours?

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