In between his last Sunday at FBC Midlothian and his first Sunday at Lakeside Baptist, Clay has had 3 weeks of vacation to use. It has been great, giving him a good amount of time to work on his dissertation, for us to visit family, and to fully devote to the day. At the end of all that, though, we found ourselves at home this past Sunday, with no church expecting us to show up.
So we skipped.
I can’t think of a time in our married life we chose to stay home on a Sunday, unless someone was sick. It felt really weird, at first. But then I saw on Twitter that Louie Giglio’s church Passion City was taking the day off, too. In fact, for two weeks straight their whole congregation didn’t meet together at all. Can you even imagine it? They had a podcast, and that’s it. I’m not making this up; they called it “Sabbath Pause.”
Now, from what I can tell, Louie is a great guy. I admire him, as do hundreds of thousands of other people. But it seems to me that “Sabbath Pause” is redundant. After all, isn’t the pause the whole point of the Sabbath? I think if you have to take a break from the Sabbath, you’re probably doing something wrong.
Anyway, that’s beside the point. I figure if Louie Giglio can tell his whole church to skip church, then the Hopkins can enjoy a guilt-free Sunday morning at IHOP.
And we did. At first, I was shocked by how unrighteous Sunday morning restaurant service seemed to be. The hostess was on her cell phone when we walked in, and didn’t look up to greet us until she was finished. Then she asked me to look around the corner to see if an empty booth had been bussed. I thought maybe that’s how all restaurant servers treat church-skippers. You know, give ’em what they deserve, and all that. But then I realized she was probably trying to find the Passion City podcast on her cell phone, so I cut her some slack.
Back when I was in college (gig ’em), I heard that kids over at Baylor slept in on Sundays, then dressed up to go out to eat. They didn’t want people to know they had skipped church. We resisted the urge to do that; we went to IHOP pure heathen style, wearing shorts.
So when we ran into the whole entire senior adult class from FBC Midlothian as we left, we might as well have been wearing scarlet letters. We were busted.
Since it’s List Wednesday, I was thinking about some other things you don’t want to get caught doing if you’re skipping church:
Not having a nasty virus. I’m not saying you should start coughing and trying to look feverish if you skip church and run into people you know. But I’m also not saying you shouldn’t.
Getting a mani-pedi. There’s something about paying someone to wash your feet on the Lord’s Day that just seems wrong to me. Unless you share the gospel while you’re there, in which case, I would have to overlook your blatant misuse of John 13.
Eating at Chick-fil-A. Mainly because they’re closed on Sundays, and you could go to jail for that.
Sitting in a folding armchair. I mean, if you’re going to be at your kid’s baseball tournament on a Sunday morning, you should at least sit on the bleachers and try to look like you’re very uncomfortable with the whole experience.
Doing yard work. Unless, of course, your ox fell in the ditch. That’s biblical, and, as I imagine it, would earn the approval of even the most staunch legalist who passes you and your ditch-fallen ox on his way to Sunday School. But if you don’t have an ox, you should probably just stay inside and catch that podcast.
So what thoughts have you had about skipping church? Not that you know what I’m talking about or anything…