Drippings from the Honeycomb
More to be desired are [the rules of the Lord] than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. (Psalm 19:10)
The Lord’s Day (LD) is one of the most vital means of grace the Lord has given to His people. A Lord’s Day well spent is therefore essential for spiritual vitality. To this end, and also to learn how a pastor spends the LD, allow me to share how I spend the LD.
Firstly, my week looks forward to the LD and each week begins with the LD. This is the major rhythm in my life, not because I’m a pastor but because I’m a Christian.
Essential to a profitable LD is preparing for the LD by planning your week. I very seldom try to plan much of anything for a Saturday night. I want to make sure I’m well rested to spend the day well. (This includes sermon preparation, which I generally have completed during the week. Only occasionally am I writing vs. reviewing a sermon on Saturday night. I always appreciate God’s people’s prayers for me on this night).
I wake grateful that the Lord has given a day of rest and worship and family. I look forward to the morning and evening worship services that will prove an integral part in spending the LD well, of our corporate worship and discipleship. There is nothing planned for the day apart from rest, worship and family. No shopping (online or otherwise), no special events, no projects, no recreational activities, no travel, etc. The Lord’s Day is His appointment with me and so I give the day wholly to the Lord; it is His. While I do seek to usually take Monday as a day off for projects, family or writing the LD is my/the Sabbath. My service is part of my worship.
I’m usually up before anyone else in my home on the LD. After a time of general prayer I review my message and pray for the services and the day. We have breakfast and do my son’s devotional and then get ready to go to church. I try to make this as hassle free as possible so going to church doesn’t become a stressful affair.
As a pastoral family we’re normally there early (often first to arrive and last to leave). I don’t count the very act of being at church on the LD as contributing to ‘my week’s work’—I’m a Christian first, I’d be there anyway. However, I do try to take the extra time into consideration of my wider week’s ministry. After getting any last minute things ready (missing music pages, anything for the sermon) and helping ‘open things up’ those involved in the morning service meet together for prayer. We then fellowship and welcome people to the service (As we don’t presently have greeters I try to do this). One sacrifice in the service, since I often assist with the leading of singing is that I’m not able to help parent in the pew like other fathers. After the service I usually greet people and hopefully engage in relevant ministry conversations.
On the way home we usually take a short scenic drive and then have a light lunch. Occasionally we’ll have guest speakers or members/visitors over for a meal, though my wife’s health doesn’t always allow for this. In the afternoon there will quite likely be a nap, some p.m. sermon review, reading a Christian book, taking some quiet time to pray, a short family walk, etc.
We often will have a small snack before heading off the evening service. This service is the true highlight of my week. I love beginning the week on the Lord’s Day in worship but I love crowning the day with the p.m. service. With minimal set up we look forward to an informal service. After the service we have refreshments, which is a great time to catch up with people and speak about the things of the Lord.
After the p.m. service, which has been part of my life now for a decade, we return home for a tradition of crackers, cheese and jelly. Following this we call some family members to check in. Then we retire for the evening with a story, a devotional reading and a reading from the Bible followed by prayers. After a busy yet restful day we all seek to get a good night’s sleep.
Many ask how I can do as much as I do. The simple answer is by seeking to spend the LD well. I still have room to grow in spending the day well and hope you will likewise contemplate how you will grow in spending a profitable Lord’s Day.
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