For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 2 Corinthians 5:21
The stage was set. The actors were each in their places. The script was ready to be followed. And yet, there were no special effects. No unique and moving soundtracks playing in the background.
The scenes leading to the Cross on Golgotha included, a last supper, the singing of an hymn, prayer, and betrayal. A man’s ear was cut off. Jesus re-attached and healed the ear. Armed men came to arrest the innocent and submissive Lamb of God. Jesus willingly went with them
After the mock trials, false witnesses, and and shuffling between leaders, Jesus was led to be slaughtered. The people were cheering. There was applause, laughter, and mocking.
After being beat, the bloodied Jesus carried His cross uphill to the place of the skull. Jesus was going to the Cross as any common criminal. Sinner. Man.
“And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them…” Acts 20:7
It became an every week event. God’s people would gather in a designated area to hear preaching, pray together, sing to the Lord, and to enjoy encouraging fellowship. It was every Sunday.
Depending on the church, there would be a pastor such as James preaching. Sometimes it was Paul as he traveled through. Others rose up as pastors, missionaries and evangelists to declare God’s Word to those who gathered as the “Church.”
Church attendance is something that should be on each Christians weekly agenda. For Sunday worship to be truly a “day given to the Lord” then a plan of action would help. Sunday church should be greatly anticipated in our households with pleurae and expectations for God to work in our lives.
The following are methods that I use to prepare and get ready for attending Sunday church services. They are not “rocket science” but proper preparation does require personal and family discipline.
I do not start major home improvement projects Saturday if they have no definitive stopping point. If in planning it looks like a project will take a lot more time than I hoped or if it would leave the house in conditions that would distract or even prevent the family from being able to easily go to church I will save that part of the project for another day. If it can be started and finished, or even “paused” by around 2:00 PM then it is a project I may try to tackle. Projects may take more time, but our children will be less likely to misunderstand our priorities.
I leave a “margin” for time and distance when traveling so that we would arrive home in time on Saturday to set everything back in its place so that Sunday morning preparation is a breeze. Late Saturday night arrives home from long or short trips are avoided.
I check the “weather” ahead of time. Forecasts are educated guesses, but I like an idea as to how I will need to dress. Hot or cold, rainy or snowy? It makes a difference in how you prepare for a day. Check Saturday night if you can. This helps with planning what to wear. Selecting the cloths you plan to wear the night before can also be a help. Some people will set them “out” to be easy to find.
I go to sleep early on Saturday night. 9:00 PM is a good time for me. Perhaps because I am the one preaching. A low energy guy like me needs good rest to preach. You and I have both noticed Sunday School teachers that could use more energy Sunday morning. Even those not preaching or teaching would do well to be well rested so they can be more engaged with the events of the church services. Our children go to sleep earlier than I do.
I like to eat a breakfast with protein, get some “prayer” walking (about a mile) in, and read a chapter or two out of the Bible in addition to a few moments of prayer. Message preparation is at a different time for me. These are things I do if I am preaching or not preaching in the church services.
I know where my Bible is. Have your Bible ready to go. Your Bible and the Bibles of each family member should have a regular place it is set when not in use. For me it is on the corner of a kitchen counter top. Every time.
I leave the TV off. Some of our senior saints enjoy some of the Bible teachers on TV, and that can be good. I would encourage you to avoid watching cartoons, turning on a movie, or being absorbed by the “news.” I glance at the major headlines online to ensure I know of any major attacks, events, or trouble that people may ask me about – but Sunday morning is not the time to study the problems of the world on the TV. There are many online radio stations that offer encouraging, conservative, and worshipful music that may help. Please see the page of this site about “Christian Radio.”
I do not play video games on Sunday morning. Many teenagers today are “glued” to their phones playing video games. I encourage each parent to take the phones away or have them turned off. Some teens play during the ride to church, all during Sunday School, and even the church service. Sometimes when greeting teens in the pre-service, it is difficult to get their attention to say “hi” because they are so focused on their game. That is not a good way to be “prepared for meeting with God.” Parents and adults are just as prone to “zone out” on Facebook. A distracted heart is not as inclined to “hear” God’s message or as engaged in the church service.
I avoid the rush. That rushed feeling can be avoided if you leave the house at a reasonable time. If it takes you 20 minutes to drive to church, then leave 30 minutes before. Even if you live close to the church like I do, add time or “margin” so that you are not rushed. Kids who are “rushed” to Sunday School and church and still show up late do not receive as much from the lessons because their hearts are racing, they have probably been yelled at by a parent to “move faster” and their mind is not as engaged as it would be if they got there early. “On time” is really 15 minutes before the service or class begins. Try that for a while and see how it calms your spirit.
I enjoy a nap Sunday afternoon following our family meal. Sometimes we go out to eat. We avoid major projects, yard work, and big outdoor activities that could cause a person to not be ready for the Sunday Evening Church services. We have found it best not to get on a boat or take a hike Sunday afternoon. Choirs, fellowships and the church services come fast. Being involved is terrific but it does take effort.
There are so many distractions from giving a day of worship to the Lord. With a little discipline, we can be ready with hearts prepared to worship Jesus. With better planning than you do for school and work, you can plan and prepare for making it to church services on time and ready to learn, worship, connect to others and grow. I hope these ideas that have helped me and my family are a blessing to you as you get ready for church this Sunday.