I had never heard the name, Low Sunday, until the author of a favorite devotional mentioned it.
In the parlance of the church, the first Sunday after Easter is known as “Low Sunday.” It may well express how some of us feel . . .We may think we have earned a rest . . . Do you recall the hymn we sing at Christmas, “It came Upon a midnight Clear”? One of the verses bids us “rest beside the weary road and hear the angels sing.” It is perfectly safe for us to take a momentary rest at this point in Eastertide, so long as we do not let the chattering of the world drown out the angels’ song. Come ye yourselves apart . . . and rest a while. (Mark 6:31)*
Oh, how I need to come apart– away from all that is my day. Life’s hassles can wear me out, even before I check the headlines. So, I do not hear the still quiet melodies that angels still sing o’er this wonderful old world’s clamor.
No, I hear this nagging little voice which warts me:
- Have you made a list today? Remember what you never did yesterday!
- You just don’t have time for Bible study today.
- Get moving – better get that walk in before the rain.
- What about the laundry?
- Have you thought about dinner?
- Don’t forget today you need to water and weed.
- See? You have already forgotten to pray for ________________!
So, encountering an obscure liturgical designation – Low Sunday– opened my ears to an invitation– the same one the disciples heard:
Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat.
Can you hear this invitation, too?
Here’s a prayer in the words of St. Augustine that lifts me and redirects me on any low day:
Increase my faith, O Lord.
Give me diligence to learn and understand the gospel.
Open my heart to trust you.
Let my doubts spur me to seek deeper understanding with patience.
For you have given me a mind to question, time to grow and mature, and you call me to know, love, and serve you even [and especially] in the midst of uncertainty. Amen
* Richardson Wright, A Book of Days for Christians, page 99