Sunday, 26 May 2013

The Christian living for the weekend

Many people today live for the weekend. Their employments and duties during the week can be endured only with the prospect of 5 o’clock on a Friday evening when they can once again engage in their social life. The entertainment of the world is all that keeps them going during the week; once Saturday night has ended it appears to them that those things which they enjoy most are finished for another week. Next Friday cannot arrive soon enough for them. When we make this statement you might imagine that we are referring to unbelievers, yet it is equally the case with many Christians. They too, like the world, look forward more than anything to those social events at the weekend when they can get back to enjoying themselves. Whilst a time of lawful recreation and relaxation is not to be denied, the spiritual benefit or appropriateness of that which many Christians involve themselves in is questionable to say the least. Are our weekends spent more in the company of the unsaved than with our fellow believers? Do we find ourselves at ease with, and desirous of the atmosphere and pleasures of the worlds entertainment? Is this not a cause for concern? The weekend ought to be a time that the Christian looks forward to, yet for a different reason to the world, for the reason that it includes that one day in seven set aside for the worship of God. Do we look forward to the weekend because we have a hunger for the preaching of God’s Word, or do we live for the weekend in the same manner as the world?

In Psalm 122:1 David spoke of his delight at going up to the house of the Lord when he said 'I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD'. This Psalm was a Song of Degrees; one of the fifteen Psalms sung by the Israelites on their annual ascent up to Jerusalem, on the steps of the temple and on their return from the Babylonian captivity. As they sang these Psalms their thoughts and desires were towards the place where God would meet with them. For the Israelite people scattered throughout the land the journey to Jerusalem was something which thrilled their hearts, they looked forward to once again being in God’s house. That journey to Jerusalem meant going up higher in a geographical sense due to the altitude of Jerusalem, but also in a spiritual sense as the temple at Jerusalem was the place where they would be in the presence of God; ‘whither the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD, unto the testimony of Israel, to give thanks unto the name of the LORD’. Of course our attendance at the house of God should not be limited to once or twice on a Sunday, but also the weekly prayer meeting, and an involvement in the work of the church so much as circumstances allow. It is however true that the Sabbath worship ought hold a special place in the heart of every believer. 

We too should have the heart of the psalmist when we consider the approach of the weekend, when we will again go to the house of God and worship him. Are we also glad when our feet can stand within His gates, when we are with God’s people in God’s house? What a privilege we have in this land that we can worship God freely, that we can set aside the normal duties of life and our thoughts can be focused on Jehovah. What a sin it then is if we neglect God's house or think lightly of it, preferring that which the world has to offer at the weekend. There are many things we look forward to each weekend, but more than anything we should look forward to the Sabbath when we can ascend into the hill of the Lord as the Israelites did, and know the blessing that is to be found in communion with the Lord.

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