So it’s my tradition after the prayer of the day to bring a message to all of God’s children. And I have a question for you: what do you do when you have a bad day?
Now a bad day can be different for each of us but we all have bad days. Sometimes those bad days are because of something we did or didn’t do; or maybe because of something that happened to us. If we could choose, we wouldn’t want to have very many bad days but bad days happen – and sometimes they happen over and over again. So when we have a bad day, we sometimes do things – whether we realize it or not. When I have a bad day, I tend to get more irritable and angry. That means – and this is my fault – I’m not as nice as I want to be those I love when I have a bad day. Sometimes a bad day will also make me feel sad or scared or nervous. I might find myself crying by myself or sitting in a car longer when I get to places or, on days when the day has just taken all my energy, I stay up too late and look at my phone. So what do you do when you have a bad day?
And what would you like to do, instead, when you have a bad day?
I was thinking about this for two reasons. One, I found a book at my school’s bookfair that I helped manage this year called “Even Superheroes have Bad Days.” And it’s true – even superheroes have bad days. If we read comic books or watch comic book movies, we know that the bad days superheroes have usually involves them having to fight supervillians. But they also have days where they get a parking ticket or they don’t listen to a friend like they were supposed to or when they didn’t love as much as they should or didn’t feel the love they also needed. Superheroes could get mad or angry and do awful things – to make the world around them feel the way they feel inside. But…they could also do something different. They could realize they’ve had a bad day – and choose to give themselves a timeout. They could choose to rest, if they could. They could choose to do their best to not take things out on others. And if they were Christians like us – they could choose to worship, to pray, to read the Bible, and to hear how people always have bad days – yet God comes to them again and again to say they are loved and they matter. Superheroes could let the bad day not be what defines them – but rather let love, care, and kindness be what matters. They don’t always get that right – but by thinking about bad days before we have bad days, they have a chance at making sure they don’t harm the people around them.
And the second reason why I was thinking about that is because of our first reading today when Paul, a preacher who traveled around the mediterranean sea, met a woman named Lydia. And while the text doesn’t say why they met outside the walls of a city, in a place where there was water, I wonder if Lydia was there because she had a bad day and needed to get away. Maybe she needed to visit nature – or visit a place that had special meaning for her – or be in a place where here people would gather to worship and to feel loved because things hadn’t gone well. And while there – she met this Paul who told her the love Jesus had for her. And Jesus loved her not because she was always perfect and was good all her days. He loved her because sometimes we have bad days – and we need a God who is with us even when things are hard. So when you have your bad days, learn how to not hurt the people around you. And when you have bad days, remember that a bad day doesn’t mean Jesus isn’t with you. Jesus is right there showing you that your bad days won’t define all the days you get to spend with God.
Each week, I share a reflection for all children of God. The written manuscript serves as a springboard for what I do. This is from Christ Lutheran Church’s Worship on the Sixth Sunday after Easter, 5/22/2022.