Sunday Night Soldiers
They begin to appear from 19:30, coming in dribs and drabs with tired eyes and winter cheeks. Blinking and shuffling, the small crowd slowly grows until twenty or so sit in silence or gently muffled chatter. Sunday night soldiers, they’ve broken through enemy lines, evading capture for this- eighty minutes of living, of being rehumanised:
“Damn the telly! We shall not be anaesthetised. Damn the snow! It’s hardly Siberia. Damn Monday morning! I’ll wrestle with the bleariness. Wake up! Wake up, my soul! It’s time to worship Jesus!”
As singing commences, tentative but growing in confidence, we shed skin to find a sense of nearness; a breath, a sixth sense, a presence. The tongues of angels and rumble of drums, sacred text and stuttering songs all commandeered and directed to one end. This is not humble-bragging, nor self-congratulation- these songs and prayers transcend our humdrum lives, illuminate our faces and resonate in songs of saints from ancient times and cultures.
This is Sunday night warfare- the prayer gathering. We are the Sunday Night Soldiers.
We speak the most of what we cherish, and Jesus didn’t lie in saying that the lips utter what the heart is full of. From his crucified heart flowed blood and water. Symbolic, yes, but also more- human hearts can drink their fill here. I’ve been “full” before and deeply regretted it (stretch receptors take no prisoners), but drinking here is somewhat different- I am so full, but strangely light; intoxicated but never clearer minded.
The church has no mission; God’s mission has a people. They speak of what they treasure most, of what really grips them. I want to be among the Sunday night soldiers who are fighting for a full heart in Jesus because I need to have my reality overcome again and again and again. Who knows what might happen when my heart is full of Jesus?