This was a very unusual Sunday morning for me. I awoke to discover that I have ‘pink eye’ and, after a conversation with a nurse in the congregation, concluded that it was the contagious kind. The good news was that I was not preaching today; our student associate was scheduled to preach. So at the advice of the nurse in the congregation, I did not go share my germs with the good folks at church.
Seldom am I at away from the congregation on a Sunday morning, and when I am, it is usually because I am out of town or sick and not leaving the house. On this particular morning, I went to the pharmacy to pick up drops for my eyes. On the drive to the pharmacy, I was certainly aware that traffic was much lighter than on a weekday or a Saturday. I very quickly jumped to the ‘everybody’s at home- so few people go to church’ train of thought. Those thoughts are certainly based in some fact; however I noticed something else. So many people in cars I passed were dressed as if they just might be going to church. (I wonder at myself even as I make that statement, because folks in our congregation do not particularly ‘dress up’ for worship — so why would I make an assumption about anyone based on what they are wearing?!)
Still as I went into the drug store, I had several encounters with people who were picking something up and did appear to be going to church. At the checkout, when I started to walk away without my change, a couple behind me laughed and commented to me about my being particular generous. “After all,” the man said, “it is Sunday!” When he said that I wondered if they assumed that I was one of those who does not participate in church, and they were very kindly reminding me of the significance of this day. I appreciated the fact that he said what he did. It was a fun, non-threatening way to remind me of the day.
I realized that we make a number of assumptions. I was making assumptions about church attendance this morning based on how people were dressed. I make assumptions when I see the cars in store parking lots — that those folks are not going to church. I make the assumption that if someone is not in church on a Sunday morning, that they are not in church at all. It might be that they attend church on Saturday, or on Sunday afternoon. It might be that they are sick and picking up something at the pharmacy.
Hmmm. Nothing of great depth here – just hmmm. We are an assumption making people!