"He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings." Psalm 40:2

Are you ready for church tomorrow? {Market Day of the Soul}

The Puritans considered the Lord’s Day to be the Market Day for the soul. Just as they made a weekly run to town to purchase food and supplies for the week ahead, they made a weekly run to church to stock up on spiritual food for the week ahead.

Do we go to church with the intent of stocking up on real spiritual food to sustain us the rest of the week?

As it happens, that’s quite different than going with the hope of being entertained, or inspired. It’s not the same as going because we want to see our friends, or because we want a break from the kids. Why do you head to church every week? Or do you? What are you bringing with you when you leave? Anything lasting and helpful for the battle and hard work that you’ll face in the week to come?

It took me a few years as a homemaker to figure out that I can’t just set out for my day of errands in town unprepared. Heading out without my list leads to wasted time, extra trips, or doing without. Heading out without a plan for lunch leads to added expenses from eating out or grumpy hungry children. When I am prepared, Market Day usually goes relatively smoothly, and I’m able to successfully put supper on the table and TP in the bathroom during the week ahead (amongst many other things, of course).

I’d never thought about it before, but the same principle applies to the Market Day for the soul. We can’t just roll into church without a thought and expect to leave equipped for the week ahead, we must prepare. Prepare with prayer, a hearty appetite for God’s Word, and a correct mindset.

Joel Beeke of Puritan Theological Seminary has written a fantastic little book called The Family at Church, which addresses this very issue. In it, he gives biblical reasoning for and very practical advice on how to prepare yourself and your family for the Lord’s Day and explains how to make the most of this critical weekly spiritual Market Day. My husband read a short section of this book to the family each morning for a while, and all of us were deeply convicted and learned a lot. I strongly recommend it.

Let’s dutifully prepare and be good stewards of the spiritual resources we’re so blessed to have!

Are you ready for church tomorrow?

{Note: This is a slightly edited re-post of a series launch I ran over a year ago. I pulled the series down a while ago because I suspect that as a blogging newbie I may have overstepped the limits of copyrighting in at least two posts by quoting at length from the book referenced. (It really is that good! Read it! It’s less than $5!) This post is more general, however, and my own work entirely, as well as a recommendation to not only go and read the book yourself but also to think seriously about preparing your heart for church. I do plan to read through the rest of the series at some point when I have time and see if any of it can be re-posted. I hope this is a blessing to you!}

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