Dear brothers and sisters,
This is just a reminder that, despite the ban on gatherings due to the Coronavirus, today is still the Lord’s Day, i.e. the Christian Sabbath.
One of our doctrinal standards, i.e. The Shorter Catechism, has these questions and answers regarding the Lord’s Day:
Q. 57. Which is the fourth commandment?
A. The fourth commandment is, Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
Q. 58. What is required in the fourth commandment?
A. The fourth commandment requireth the keeping holy to God such set times as he hath appointed in his word; expressly one whole day in seven, to be a holy sabbath to himself.
Q. 59. Which day of the seven hath God appointed to be the weekly sabbath?
A. From the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ, God appointed the seventh day of the week to be the weekly sabbath; and the first day of the week ever since, to continue to the end of the world, which is the Christian sabbath.
Q. 60. How is the sabbath to be sanctified?
A. The sabbath is to be sanctified by a holy resting all that day, even from such worldly employments and recreations as are lawful on other days; and spending the whole time in the public and private exercises of God's worship, except so much as is to be taken up in the works of necessity and mercy.
Q. 61. What is forbidden in the fourth commandment?
A. The fourth commandment forbiddeth the omission or careless performance of the duties required, and the profaning the day by idleness, or doing that which is in itself sinful, or by unnecessary thoughts, words or works, about our worldly employments or recreations.
At least for this week, we have opted to encourage family worship in each of your homes (or personal worship if you are part of a single-family home).
Some thoughts for honoring the Lord on today's “present distress” Lord’s Day Sabbath:
1. Do get some rest. “Holy resting” includes physical rest. We’re looking forward to getting up a little later, and also getting a nap after lunch.
2. Allow time for your personal Bible reading, reading of other “edifying things”, and prayer.
3. Have your family worship at the time that fits best for your family.
4. Consider ways that you can minister to your neighbors, especially elderly people who are very fearful of going out, e.g. to get groceries, to pick up medical prescriptions, etc. Let’s not forget that we should be reaching out to others as the church is meant to do, particularly in times of national crisis.
5. Get outside and breathe the fresh air!!!!!!!!
I continue to pray for each of you, and will very much miss our time of corporate worship tomorrow.
Yours in the Lord of the winds and the waves,