“The Ordering of [Our] Common Affairs Beforehand”

 NAS The Jews therefore, because it was the day of preparation, so that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. (John 19:31)

The preceding verse reminds us that the Jews spent the day before the Sabbath day getting ready for it (that is why they called Friday the “Day of Preparation”). There were many things that had to be done in order to prepare to “remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy.” Things are not that much different for us as we prepare for the Lord’s Day (and I have no problem calling it the “Christian Sabbath”). For our family, we make sure to fill up our two vehicles (I usually need to get there before Dixie and the boys), get anything from the grocery store that might be needed, work diligently to get the boys in the shower on time in order that they can get to bed on time (and so can we), checking to make sure Sunday clothes are clean, and trying to take some time to prepare our hearts to worship the Lord with God’s people. We usually prepare “crock pot” meals so a large amount of time does not have to be spent cooking, cleaning up the kitchen, etc. and we are better able to focus on the Lord on His day.

Granted, every family is different, and it is not for me to add extra-Biblical laws for your lives, but I would encourage you to ask yourself, “What can I do on Saturday that will better prepare me to worship the living Lord on His special day?” The last two paragraphs of Chapter XXI of the Westminster Confession of Faith gives great direction concerning this issue:

As it is the law of nature, that, in general, a due proportion of time be set apart for the worship of God; so, in his Word, by a positive, moral, and perpetual commandment binding all men in all ages, he hath particularly appointed one day in seven, for a Sabbath, to be kept holy unto him: which, from the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ, was the last day of the week; and, from the resurrection of Christ, was changed into the first day of the week, which, in Scripture, is called the Lord’s day, and is to be continued to the end of the world, as the Christian Sabbath.

 This Sabbath is then kept holy unto the Lord, when men, after a due preparing of their hearts, and ordering of their common affairs beforehand, do not only observe an holy rest, all the day, from their own works, words, and thoughts about their worldly employments and recreations, but also are taken up, the whole time, in the public and private exercises of his worship, and in the duties of necessity and mercy.

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