Key Habits for Sunday Readiness Day 2 – Prepare All Week
The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, Whoever offers the sacrifice of his peace offerings to the Lord shall bring his offering to the Lord from the sacrifice of his peace offerings. His own hands shall bring the Lord’s food offerings.” (Leviticus 7:28-30, ESV)
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations. (Psalm 100:1-5, ESV)
Your alarm goes off Sunday morning and you are dead tired, but you turn it off and get out of bed anyway. You shower, get yourself dressed and ready, grab a quick breakfast, and head to church. You arrive a couple of minutes before the service starts, take your seat, and finally catch your breath. It’s been a long week, or maybe it hasn’t. Either way, the service starts, and you realize you didn’t read the Bible as much as you should have or pray as much as you should have; you hardly thought about spiritual things all week, and you have little to nothing to offer to the Lord.
This is a safe space; we can all admit that we have done something like this more times than we would care to admit. Life can be difficult and busy, but we should always be prepared when we walk through those doors. It can be far too easy to fall into the habit of showing up on Sunday morning and trying to base our worship on hymns that are given out, prayers we hear, or thoughts that enter our mind during the Lord’s Supper. There is certainly nothing wrong with appreciating what someone else has shared during our meeting together, but we should come in with our own fresh thoughts.
We are to enter into His presence with thanksgiving and praise, like we read in Psalm 100. The emphasis in this Psalm is to remember the steadfast love of the Lord, and the psalmist makes special note that we are to enter His gates with thanksgiving. In our Scripture reading in Leviticus 7, the Lord emphasized to Moses that each person was to bring his own sacrifice to the Tabernacle. It was not up to the priest (or these days, the pastor) to spoon feed the children of Israel; they were to bring their own offerings. In a similar manner, we should not depend on one person (or even just a few people) to fill the time in our church service and do the remembrance for all of us. As believers, we are all called to contribute in our remembrance of the Lord.
How exactly is that done? Well, there are many ways to be reminded of Him during the week. Regular reading of the Bible and time spent in prayer are a great start to being prepared to remember Him. Making sure these are part of our daily lives will be essential in our appreciation and remembrance of the Lord. In addition, we can do personal studies of portions of the Word of God, listen to a Christian podcast during the week, listen to Christian music in the car, observe the glory of His creation, have times of silence when we can meditate on Him, etc. If we are in a right relationship with the Lord, it will be easier to see Him in our everyday lives. It would be my prayer that each one of us would put in the time to prepare each week so that we can come with fresh thoughts about the One who gave His life for us.