Encourage the Weary, Empower the Afflicted

We have special Sundays in the church in order for some things to get highlighted for special attention. For instance, in days gone by we would have Boy Scouts Sunday, Women in Ministry Sunday, Higher Education Sunday, or Missionary Sunday. The list goes on. Some fall off our radar and some are added on. We lift these things up, one Sunday per year, to prevent them from being ignored in the life of our church, or any church for that matter. Last Sunday was particularly perplexing for me. In my denomination's tradition, once a year, we have a special Sunday called "Human Relations Day."  This Sunday has its own special offering envelope with the printed message "your gift today encourages the weary and empowers the afflicted just trying to survive." My heart sank. I grieve. I am not opposed to encouraging the weary and empowering the afflicted but I am sad that we need a special Sunday to get the job done. I am grieving that we have a professionally produced brochure this one Sunday which implores us to take one day in 365 to do what each Christian is called to do every day!

Rather than have one special Sunday each year to do such things, I propose we align our church behavior into recognizing Human Relations day every day. When we design our adult, youth, and children's Christian education classes let's ask the question "How does this activity help us encourage the weary and empower the afflicted?" When we set our yearly budget we ask "How does this annual budget bring us into alignment with our purpose to encourage the weary and empower the afflicted?" When we design weekly worship we ask "How can our worship time together encourage the weary and empower the afflicted? How can we treat everyone, every day, with dignity and respect?"

I believe that it will please God when we get to the place where Human Relations Sunday is every day of the year.