Are You Ready for Sunday?

by Dr. Steven J. Callis

It was a Saturday night ritual growing up at my house.  It probably did not occur every week, but often enough that it holds a place in my memory, as early as kindergarten age.  My dad would spread some old newspaper over the kitchen table and announce the shoe call.  My two older brothers and I would bring our “Sunday” shoes to the kitchen where dad would polish them in preparation for going to church the next morning.  It was fun to watch him work up a shine on our very best pairs of shoes.

Along with shining shoes, Dad also assumed the responsibility of making certain we all had an “offering” for Sunday School – it usually was a quarter in those days. I recall being in the car and, I think on a Saturday, he would stop somewhere to buy a pack of gum so he could use the change from his dollar bill to give us Sunday School offering for the next day.

Of course, mom’s role was to take care of our “Sunday” clothes, and to see that we were properly dressed and looking our best for church on Sunday.  I was not always thrilled about what I wore – I remember crying about it one time in first grade because my “outfit” included shorts, suspenders, bow tie, and knee socks!  I must have been adorable, so much so that it embarrassed me to be seen in public!

The result of all this fuss was that it instilled in me the importance of going to church regularly, and always seeking to give (and wear!) my best for Jesus.  I was raised in a family that made church attendance a high priority – Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night, revival services – we rarely missed church when the doors were open.  But what I have grown to realize is that preparing for church is about so much more than having shiny shoes, nice clothes, and a quarter in my pocket.  While physical preparation is necessarily part of the process, the primary focus is preparation of the mind and heart; for attending church is not a social event, but a time for praise and worship with others to the living God who calls us to himself.

That takes me to one more memory of preparing for church as a kid.  On Sunday mornings while we were eating breakfast and getting dressed, gospel music would be playing throughout the house, as well as in the car on the way to church.  I did not make the connection at the time, but the music was part of our spiritual preparation for worship.  It penetrated our ears, minds, and hearts to awaken our spiritual senses and prepare us to hear the word of God through Sunday School teachers and preachers.

So, as you prepare for church this coming Sunday, include a time of prayer for your Sunday School leaders, small group leaders, worship leaders, and your pastor/preacher.  Ask God to prepare your heart and mind for what His Spirit will bring to you through fellowship, praise, and worship.  To often we do not really begin preparation for worship until we walk through the front doors of the church.  Why not begin preparation when you awaken Sunday morning; or begin Saturday, or even today?  When you arrive at church next Sunday, will you be ready?

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