20pluscommunitydigestion

There is a great difference in excellency, usefulness, and comfort between people of clear, digested knowledge, and confused, undigested apprehensions. -Richard Baxter

Saturday Night….Life

Now that you may have tried your hand (your heart really) at Lectio Divina, it might lead you to consider this:

We tend to think of Saturdays and Sundays as air-tight compartments in the sense that they don’t have much relationship to one another. Saturday is Saturday’s business. Sunday is Sunday’s. But what if part of what it means to “do” Sunday properly entails a certain way of “doing” Saturday?

Here’s a quote from one of the Puritans, George Swinnock. He has something to say about preparing yourself as the sun sets on a Saturday for what is to come when it rises again Sunday. His words are so foreign to our sensibilities, I think. I was reluctant even to mention his confession as a Puritan since our contemporary filters tend to relegate whatever emanates from that community to something….intriguing but certainly not binding. Anyway, if you will, labor to set aside your initial impression of the seemingly obsolete notion for which Swinnock argues. Then consider that what he says may be more relevant to your need, and your Saturdays, than you imagined.

Prepare to meet they God, O Christian! betake thyself to thy chamber on this Saturday night, confess and bewail thine unfaithfulness under the ordinances of God; shame and condemn thyself for thy sins, entreat God to prepare thy heart for, and assist it in, thy religious performances; spend some time in consideration of the infinite majesty, holiness, jealousy, and goodness, of that God, with whom thou art to have to do in sacred duties; ponder the weight and importance of his holy ordinances …; meditate on the shortness of the time thous hast to enjoy Sabbaths in; and continue musing … till the fire burneth; thou canst not think the good thou mayest gain by such forethoughts, how pleasant and profitable a Lord’s day would be to thee after such preparation. The oven of thine heart thus baked in, as it were, overnight, would be easily heated the next morning; the fire so well raked up when thou wentest to bed, would be the sooner kindled when thou shouldst rise. If thou wouldst thus leave thy heart with God on the Saturday night, thou shouldst find it with him in the Lord’s Day morning.

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