Archive for January 20th, 2008

How is the Lord’s Day to be sanctified?

Sunday, January 20th, 2008

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(Image from Snapshots of Joy)
Excerpts from the Westminster Larger Catechism:


QUESTION 116. What is required in the fourth commandment?

ANSWER. The fourth commandment requireth of all men the sanctifying or keeping holy to God such set times as he hath appointed in his word, expressly one whole day in seven; which was the seventh from the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ, and the first day of the week ever since, and so to continue to the end of the world; which is the Christian Sabbath, and in the New Testament called The Lord’s day.

QUESTION 117. How is the Sabbath or the Lord’s day to be sanctified?

ANSWER. The Sabbath or Lord’s day is to be sanctified by an holy resting all the day, not only from such works as are at all times sinful, but even from such worldly employments and recreations as are on other days lawful; and making it our delight to spend the whole time (except so much of it as is to be taken up in works of necessity and mercy) in the public and private exercises of God’s worship: and, to that end, we are to prepare our hearts, and with such foresight, diligence, and moderation, to dispose and seasonably dispatch our worldly business, that we may be the more free and fit for the duties of that day.

(Scripture verses which substantiate the catechism answers may be found here, if you are inclined to look into this subject further.)

Day of all days the best

Sunday, January 20th, 2008

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(Image from Snapshots of Joy)

I’m looking forward today to a blessed Lord’s Day. Each time Sunday comes around, I’m thankful to be stopped in my busy tracks. On Sunday I have the opportunity to focus more on heavenly matters than on the concerns and enjoyments of the here and now.

I enjoy being the first one up in the morning, so I’ve already read Ezekiel 28 – 30, my portion on the Blue Letter Bible reading plan that I’m using, and today’s selection from Day By Day Grace by Bob Hoekstra (As I’ve mentioned before, Day By Day Grace is such a good resource. The author has a gift for speaking biblical truth succinctly and memorably.)

Once everyone is up, each one of the children and my husband will eat a simple breakfast. I prepared homemade granola and honey whole wheat bread yesterday, so I wouldn’t have a big dirty kitchen mess to clean before church today. I started the coffee when I got up, and will soon go make another pot, since three of the older children are here this weekend, and they all enjoy their morning coffee!

Next Sunday will involve more work in the kitchen, though, since we will be showing hospitality to church visitors and some of the friends from church. This sort of Sunday work is what we call “work of necessity and mercy.” We know that the Lord tells us to show hospitality cheerfully to one another and to visitors, and the food isn’t going to appear out of nowhere! Still, I will try to plan ahead and get as much of the work done on Saturday as possible, so that I actually have time to visit with the folks who come over, and am not doing work unnecessarily on the Lord’s Day.

Now it’s time that I finish getting ready for the day. We leave at about 9 a.m. for Bible classes. Our class is beginning a study on the book of Ephesians, and the children are studying the Heidelberg Catechism. The worship service begins at 10:30 a.m. Our pastor is preaching this morning on “Loving the Church,” and the text for his sermon is taken from Psalm 122. Listening to the preaching of God’s Word is one of the main blessings of the day, since we are told in the Bible that faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17).

Good bye for now. I hope you have a blessed Lord’s Day.