On A Sunday Afternoon

“Movin’ down a crowded avenue

Doin’ anything we like to do

There’s always lots of things that we can see

We can be anyone we like to be

And all those happy people we could meet

Just groovin’ on a Sunday afternoon

Really, couldn’t get away too soon”

Perhaps you have noticed that one of the common questions asked of celebrities, during an interview, has to do with Sunday?  When asked what a Sunday is like, many of the celebrities tell of later mornings, casual dress, and brunch.  Some tell of visits with family, to a park, or shopping at a local market.  A few add some sort of spiritual or church activity.  Almost every answer tells of a very different kind of day than the other days of the week.

Sunday is special.  It is special in many ways. 

For those of us who are Christians, it is even more than special.  We often call it the Lord’s Day; and rightly so.  It is the day that we gather with others and worship.  It is a special day of honor, celebration, and worship. 

Then think about Sunday dinner.  Filling a house with the aroma of a well seasoned pot roast can whet the appetite of even the most dedicated dieter.  Add some mashed potatoes, gravy made from the drippings, fresh bread, and some vegetables.  With all those things, a meal is set that is better than the finest “four star” restaurant.  For the family connoisseur, the Sunday dinner is the Rockwellian picture of life.  It is a time that is hard to exceed. 

Sunday afternoon is made for peace.  For those who have dined well, a good nap comes naturally without question or even choice.  The industrious use the time to fulfill little projects.  The conversational people casually visit about family, politics, or even the possibility of a little extra dessert.  Sports are played on Sunday.  Whether it’s football, baseball, auto racing, or some other treat for spectators, the relaxing comfort of a family room allows even the most avid fan to spend the time with a sense of peaceful participation. 

I have loved Sunday afternoons.  As a young boy, I once enjoyed a rainy Sunday lying in the front seat of the family car.  Dinner was finished and the dishes were done.  I gathered some of my newest “comic books” and quietly slipped out of the house and into the car.  No one seemed to even notice that I was gone.  As the rain poured over the car, I became absorbed in the fantasy of Superman, and the adventures of Archie.  Later in youth, Sunday afternoons would find me watching a football game, or gathering with some friends for a few downs of our own.  In high school, there were usually several of us who would gather at a park and play a bit of coed football. 

Recent years have found Sunday afternoons to be filled with a variety of activities.  There is always some review study and preparation for the Sunday evening sermon.  Sometimes there are meetings or visits that need to be made.  Then there are grandchildren.  Peace may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a Sunday afternoon and grandchildren.  It is a different kind of peace.  It is not about a lack of noise and activity.  It is not about private time.  It is a peace that comes with relationships and fulfillment.  When a Sunday afternoon is filled with the people you love the most in the world, it identifies real peace.

We will not be returning to an earlier day, and the peace that we perceive it to hold.  Our Sundays of the present will be filled with the activities and obligations that are a part of today.  The key is to not allow the day to be robbed of the marvelous “groove” that it has to offer.  While so many other days are scheduled and prescribed for us, Sunday afternoons are different.  We have been given so much, and Sunday afternoons are a special time to reflect, enjoy, and even relish the marvels of life around us. 

Try groovin’ on a Sunday afternoon.

“This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalms 118:24).

Russell L. Dyer