Preparing for a Day of Rest, Part 2

“If because of the sabbath, you turn your foot from doing your own pleasure on My holy day, and call the sabbath a delight, the holy day of the Lord honorable, and shall honor it, desisting from your own ways, from seeking your own pleasure, and speaking your own word, then you will take delight in the Lord…” (Isaiah 58:13-14a, NASB).

Did you make your master list yesterday, and did you divide it into tasks for each day for the rest of the week? Do you have different family members assigned to complete or help with each task? If so, you’re ready to begin!

What is on your list today? Now’s the time to get started being ready for Sunday! Squeeze those tasks into your day, and you’re already guaranteed to have a better Sunday morning this week!

Let’s discuss some of the tasks that might be on your list for Wednesday.

  • Look at your family’s calendar. Do you have any special plans on Saturday? Will you need to make extra preparations earlier in the week? Will this affect your menu plans for Sunday? Will you have company on Sunday, or will the family need a more restful afternoon after a busy Saturday?

Do you have any unusual plans for Sunday afternoon? Are you spending time with extended family or going to someone else’s home for a meal? Do you need to prepare food to take? Will you need extra changes of clothes for the children? Are there gifts to purchase or make and wrap? Add these factors into this week’s get-ready-for-Sunday list.

Of course, plans may come up later in the week, but if you already know that your Saturday is going to be busy, or that you will be away from home on Sunday afternoon, you can anticipate that now and prepare ahead.

  • Invite company for Sunday afternoon. Sundays are for rest, but they’re also for fellowship! Take time from the “busy-ness” of the week to fellowship with others. Invite good friends, but also remember those who are lonely or in need of encouragement and friendship.

Sometimes it’s nice to invite families earlier in the week and prepare for them. Does anyone in the family have special dietary needs? What sort of schedule works best for them? Would you like them to bring a dish to contribute to the meal?

Other times you may want to spontaneously invite a family home after the church service. Keep ingredients on hand for an easy, spur-of-the-moment company meal, if you are likely to invite someone home the last minute.

  • Plan menus for Saturday evening and Sunday. It is helpful to have your Saturday menu planned ahead, since part of your Saturday will be spent preparing for Sunday.

When our children were young, we planned a special meal on Saturday evenings. This took place after all our preparations were taken care of for the next day, and helped us prepare our hearts for the day of rest ahead of us. We chose to use our good dishes and often put out candles. We tried to have an extra special dessert and make it a memorable meal. This is one of the traditions I miss most as our children have grown up and started their own households. We have many sweet memories of candlelight dinners outside on the deck during the summer, and of laughter and conversations long after the food was all eaten (and no one wanted to get up and start cleaning up the kitchen!).

You may choose to keep Saturday dinner simple, after a day of extra preparations – pizza, hot dogs, fun and easy foods that the kids especially like. You could even use paper plates to save on clean up after the meal. Do what is best and most enjoyable for your family.

For Sunday breakfast, keep it simple. In our household, cold cereal and granola are reserved for Sunday mornings only. Boiled eggs, quick-cooking sausage patties, and yogurt are easy sources of protein.

Sunday lunch and/or dinner are nice to have prepared ahead, if possible. You might choose to make a casserole earlier in the week and freeze it. Then it can be put in the oven on Sunday morning, to turn on and bake while you are at church. Or maybe you want to work with two or three other families and share a meal together. With each family contributing a dish, everyone gets to have a nice meal and lots of good fellowship.

We are blessed to be part of a church family that shares a common meal together every Sunday after the worship service. Each family brings two dishes. We share our meal together, honor birthdays and anniversaries, let the kids play together, and sit  and visit for part of the afternoon. It’s a great day that defines our entire week!

If your family is heading home for a quiet day, try to keep it simple so you don’t have to spend much time cooking. Put a roast and potatoes in the oven, open cans of soup, make grilled cheese sandwiches and pop some popcorn. Have foods that you might not have during the rest of the week, foods that will make Sunday even more special!

A day of delight — that what Sunday is supposed to be! Good worship, good food, good fellowship, and some planning ahead will make it delightful!

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