Musings from Home on the Lord’s Day

Here I am sitting at home on the Lord’s Day instead of worshipping with God’s people. It seems so strange, and I confess quickly that I do not like hate it. We were on vacation and our youngest son came down with acute bronchitis in Austin (everyone should spend a couple of hours at an urgent care facility in a city far from home), so we packed up and headed for Pine Ridge. Since I am technically still on “vacation” and was not expected to be at worship anyway, I volunteered to stay home with the sick boys (the other one has a red throat and is coughing now) and let Dixie (my wife) go to church (since she is the one who always has to miss when someone is sick).

In a few minutes the boys and I will stop and spend some time reading God’s Word, maybe sing a hymn or two, work on catechism questions, and pray. It will do, and is necessary in our present condition, but it can never substitute for the time spent worshipping a holy God with God’s people.

It is amazing to me that some people do this on purpose (stay at home on the Lord’s Day) simply to sleep in, go to a soccer or softball tournament, watch football (and I love football), or any number of other earthly pursuits. One misses out on so much to gain so little. God has given us one day in seven to gather with God’s people, to hear His Word read and proclaimed, to sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, to pray, and to take advantage of the sorely needed sanctifying means of grace in our lives. The writer of Hebrews spoke well when he wrote, 

23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;  24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds,  25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:23-25)

God actually gave us two reasons why remembering His Day is so important for our spiritual well-being. The first is that God set this “one day in seven” pattern at His creation of the heavens and the earth: 

8 “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.  9 “Six days you shall labor and do all your work,  10 but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you.  11 “For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and made it holy. (Exodus 20:8-11)

Secondly, this day has been set aside because we have been delivered from our life of sin under the wrath of God:

12 ‘Observe the sabbath day to keep it holy, as the LORD your God commanded you.  13 ‘Six days you shall labor and do all your work,  14 but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter or your male servant or your female servant or your ox or your donkey or any of your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you, so that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you.  15 ‘And you shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out of there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the LORD your God commanded you to observe the sabbath day. (Deuteronomy 5:12-15)

So, when sickness or some other providential hindrance strikes, do the best you can to “remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy,” but if at all possible, take advantage of the means of grace that God has provided for your sanctification on this day of “rest and gladness.”

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2 Comments

  1. Sandra A. said,

    October 26, 2009 at 9:15 AM

    We so missed you, Clifton, but Dixie looked very rested from her time away.
    Happy early birthday. About time you caught up with me.

    • cliftonr said,

      October 26, 2009 at 9:45 AM

      Thanks. That IHOP senior discount looks pretty good to me now.


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