Thinking about Sunday…

After another Sunday of worship, here are some helpful reflections on and applications of Scripture from two historic Reformed catechisms:

The Heidelberg Catechism (1563)
Q.103: What does God require in the fourth commandment?
A.: First, that the ministry of the gospel and the schools be maintained; (1) and that I, especially on the Sabbath, that is, on the day of rest,(2) diligently frequent the Church of God to hear His word, to use the sacraments,(4) publicly to call upon the Lord,(5) and to contribute to the relief of the poor,(6) as becomes a Christian. Secondly, that all the days of my life I cease from my evil works, and yield myself to the Lord, to work by His Holy Spirit in me; and thus begin in this life the eternal Sabbath.(7)
(1) Deut.12:19; Titus 1:5; 1 Tim.3:14-15; 1 Cor.9:11; 2 Tim.2:2; 1 Tim. 3:15 (2) Lev.23:3 (3) Acts 2:42,46; 1 Cor.14:19,29,31 (4) 1 Cor.11:33 (5) 1 Tim.2:1 (6) 1 Cor.16:2 (7) Isa.66:23

The Westminster Larger Catechism (1648)
Q. 116: What is required in the fourth commandment?
A. The fourth commandment requires of all men the sanctifying or keeping holy unto God such set times as He has appointed in His Word, expressly one whole day in seven, which was the seventh from the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ, and the first day of the week ever since, and so to continue to the end of the world; which is the Christian sabbath,(1) and in the New Testament called the Lord’s day.(2)
(1) Deut.5:12-14; Gen.2:2-3; 1 Cor.16:1-2; Acts 20:7; Matt.5:17-18; Isa.56:2,4,6-7 (2) Rev.1:10

Q.117: How is the Sabbath, or Lord’s day to be sanctified?
A. The Sabbath or Lord’s day is to be sanctified by a holy resting on all the day,(1) not only from such works which are at all times sinful, but even from such worldly employments and recreations as are on other days lawful;(2) and making it our delight to spend the whole time (except so much of it as is to be taken up in works of necessity and mercy)(3) in the public and private exercises of God’s worship:(4) and, to that end, we are to prepare our hearts, and with such foresight, diligence, and moderation, to dispose and seasonably dispatch our worldly business, that we may be the more free and fit for the duties of that day.(5)
(1) Exod.20:8,10 (2) Exod.16:25-28; Neh.13:15-22; Jer.17:21-22 (3) Matt.12:1-13 (4) Isa.58:13; Luke 4:16; Acts 20:7; 1 Cor.16:1-2; Ps.92 title; Isa.66:23; Lev.23:3 (5) Exod.20:8; Luke 23:54,56; 16:22,25-26,29; Neh.13:19

The Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms go on to give further helpful thoughts on this area of thankful, consecrated, life in Christ, as do a number of contemporary works on Lord’s day living and worship, including: Joseph A. Pipa, Jr.’s, The Lord’s Day and Ryan McGraw’s The Day of Worship. There is nothing like a great day of communion with God and his people, worship, rest and refreshment in Him, and service to others. Glorifying God and enjoying Him, and His blessings, revives, refocuses and recharges our lives for another week of running the race, looking to Jesus.