Ecclesiastes 5:1, "Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. To draw near to listen is better than to offer the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they are doing evil."
There is preparation that needs to be considered before entering the Lord's Day of corporate worship with your church family.
This preparation is more than just making sure your hair is done perfectly, or that your shirt is ironed well, or that your socks match, or that your kids are even wearing socks.
Preparation for worship means preparing your hearts as well as your bodies. Our preparation for the Lord's Day should take place throughout the week as you spend time with the Lord privately through your daily devotional time.
We are fooling ourselves if we think that we can neglect God for most, if not all, the rest of the week, and yet offer him reverent, acceptable worship on the Lord's Day. To do so is to offer "the sacrifice of fools" and the only one fooled is ourselves.
However, our preparation ramps up on Saturday as we look ahead to the first day of the week, the Lord's Day. Here are five suggestions to help prepare yourself for the Lord's Day in a way that will better honor the Lord.
1. Organize your Saturday activities in such a way that will not drain your energy and provide an easy excuse to stay home from corporate worship on the Lord's Day. If you find yourself staying home from church because you overextended yourself on Saturday, then your Saturday schedule needs to change. Lord's Day worship is more important than Saturday activities. Do activities on Saturday, but save yourself for the more important day, the Lord's Day.
2. As much as is possible, give yourself some extra time to sleep Saturday night. While this may not always be possible, try to get to bed at a decent hour. Perhaps provide a "quiet time" for young children before bed time to quiet them down before heading off to sleepyland. Everyone needs sleep, and one of the most basic ways you can prepare your body for the Lord's Day is to get a good night of rest the night before.
3. Read the passage of scripture that will be preached on the Lord's Day. Meditate on the text. Maybe pastors can provide this for you. If this is not available, then purposefully read and meditate over some other kind of good devotional material either Saturday night or Sunday morning before heading out the door. This can help quiet your heart and prepare you for your spiritual feast day.
4. Make sure clothing is picked out and ironed, and that materials are gathered the night before. This is a basic thing, but can help relieve stress the morning of the Lord's Day.
5. Get up at a decent time on the Lord's Day. Don't sleep in too late and cause things to be rushed and harried. This is a day of joy, of gladness, of rest, and of heart-focus on the Lord. Don't let your love of sleep interfere with your ability to prepare yourself well to give God proper worship.
These are just a few suggestions. You may have others as well. But God's people need to get back to honoring the Lord's Day of worship, and that begins with preparing yourself before it comes each week.