Monday has traditionally been a day off for pastors. And for barbers. The reason for choosing Monday, I suppose, has something to do with the amount of energy expended on Sunday. Pastors are so spent from Sunday’s ministrations that they require Monday to recover. I am not sure about barbers.
I imagine a beach where pastors and barbers gather together every Monday in fraternal convocation, frolicking in the sand, holding impromptu volleyball tournaments and commiserating with one another about their clientele. “You think that’s bad?” a barber says to some pastor who has just grumbled about the disposition of his flock. “You should see how my customers treat me!”
The truth is, very few pastors I know actually take Monday as their day off. I never did. I always took Saturday off. I figured that, if I was going to be depressed, I might as well be depressed on a workday. I also picked it because the people in my congregation were more likely to have Saturday than Monday off. I reasoned, correctly I think, that it would be easier for me to have a social life with the congregation if our schedules were similar.
Looking back on it, I wonder if I wasn’t also trying to introduce a sense of normalcy into the rhythm of my work week. While my congregation respected my pastoral vocation, some of them were puzzled by it. “What exactly do you do all week?” a member once asked me shyly. When I told him, he was amazed. He had assumed that my only responsibility was to preach a thirty minute sermon on Sunday. This was something which he believed I did without preparation.
Monday’s curse is that it is a day of starting over. No matter how well the service went yesterday, when Sunday rolls around, we will have to do it all over again. We cannot preach the same sermon. We cannot rely upon the previous week’s blessing. But this, I realize, is also Monday’s blessing. Monday is a day of new beginnings. No matter what happened yesterday, we begin today with a clean slate. But Monday is not the first day of the week. It is the second. If Monday is a day of new beginnings, it is only because of the hope of Sunday.
Question: What day do you take off and why?