Friday, February 15, 2013

Ways to Celebrate Sunday

It all starts with the attitude. This is the most legitimate holiday in the world! (If you're wondering WHY the Lord's Day is such a big deal, read this post.)

You know that feeling you get when you open your eyes on Christmas morning? It's finally here! Or that jumping-up-and-down-can't-wait-'til-we're-all-gathered-'round-the-table feeling you get on Thanksgiving? There's nothing magical about those squares on the calendar - we get excited because we have made those days special. We've created traditions, we've talked about the day for weeks, we've made plans, we have special clothes, special food, or special activities....we've created a holiday. And it's fun!

But Sunday, the Lord's Day, the Sabbath, is special. This is a day God has told us to celebrate - and to keep special and holy. We have the official sanction to do no work, to shut our minds to the business side of life, and focus just on Him. We are free to do nothing else but worship, and we have no reason to feel guilty about shutting off normal life for a day - God Himself has told us to do so!

Doesn't that make you feel amazingly free? I mean, honestly, when the God of the universe tells you that you can take a day off....that's pretty cool. 'Specially for somebody like me, who struggles with guilt if I don't keep busy every single minute. I asked my brother once for suggestions about where I needed to work on things in my life and, after thinking a minute, he replied, "you need to learn to relax and just enjoy life once in awhile and not worry about all the projects you want to work on."

But I feel guilty when I'm not busy! (Don't get me wrong - I definitely have my struggles with laziness - but I always feel terribly guilty while I'm indulging in it.)

So how can it be okay to stop working for a whole 24 hours? YIKES! I'll get SO behind!

Nope. ...God Himself said I can take the day off. No guilt.

So that's one reason to love Sundays. But there's more to it than that. Sunday is for rest, yes, but also for worship. It's not for "thinking our own thoughts," and entertaining and partying all day long. No, this is different. This is a sacred, set-apart day.

Think of it as a date. Your Beloved One has asked you to spend the whole day with Him.

Here are some ideas for ways to celebrate and make that date the best it possibly can be:

- Greet all the family with "Happy Sunday!" when you see them first thing in the morning.
- Make all the food you can ahead of time, on Saturday, so you don't have to spend hours in the kitchen. (Think about Christmas - don't you make a TON of stuff ahead of time so you can take it easy day-of?)
- Go to all the church services you possibly can. This is the Lord's Day. Be in His house!
- Plan your outfit the night before. Make it special. This is His DAY! Look your best for Him. Please Him with what you wear.
- Take time during the afternoon to be completely alone with Him. Sure, it's a day for fellowship with His people, but you need one-on-one time with Him too. Quiet your mind. Pray. Sit and enjoy His company.
- Pray for the services as you head to church.
- Have certain foods that you make JUST for Sunday. Your favorites.
- Ditto for books. Have appropriate ones that you save for Sunday night, just before you fall asleep.
- Wake up early enough (and go to bed on Saturday night early enough) that you can get ready for church peacefully, and not be stressed out as you're walking out the door.
- Pop in a CD, and play hymns softly in the background all day long, when you're at the house.
- Pray that God would show you how to delight in His day.

This is not an exhaustive list, by any means, but I'd like to stop for now, and give you the floor. What do YOU do to make Sunday special? How do you plan your "date with God?"

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