See if you can relate to the following scenario. It’s Sunday morning and church starts at 10:00 am. Because I was out absurdly late the night before, I don’t wake up until 9:00 am, which leaves me just enough time to take a shower, gulp down a cup of coffee, and eat breakfast before leaving for church. I arrive at church in a bad mood for two reasons. First, because I’m exhausted after the previous night’s escapades, and second, because I got into a heated argument with a family member on the way to church.
The worship leader invites the congregation to enter into worship. Enter into worship? I’m ready to enter a boxing ring. By the second song I’m feeling really guilty about the argument and don’t really feel like singing. Things don’t go any better during the sermon. I’m distracted by the fact that the preacher keeps lifting his eyebrow in an odd manner. I begin a tally, and by the end of the sermon have counted 72 eyebrow lifts. It’s only when the preacher concludes with prayer that I realize I didn’t get a thing out of the sermon. I leave church feeling frustrated, discouraged, and ready for a nap. Unfortunately, I think this is a common experience for many of us.
Sunday is a sacred day. Not because it’s the seventh day of the week or because observing the Sabbath will hasten the return of the Lord. Sunday is sacred because we get to sing corporate praises to God, fellowship with other believers, and above all else, hear the precious word of God preached. Yet how little we prepare for Sundays. In the Old Testament, the people of God prepared for sacred days, they consecrated themselves. There were special rituals of washing and cleansing that each person had to perform before being allowed to participate in the sacred day.
We’re not bound by the same rituals and laws the Israelites were, but there are still ways we should be preparing for the sacred day of Sunday. There are certain things we can do to prepare our hearts for participation in corporate worship and listening to God’s word. We can ready ourselves for the sacred day of Sunday.
For the next several days we will be looking at ways to prepare for Sunday, so as to receive maximum benefit from the Sunday meeting. By God’s grace, we will grow in our love for the day of Sunday and grow our love for the church.