Monday, December 10, 2007

The Market Day of the Soul

“Hail, thou that art highly favored of God, thou map of heaven, thou golden spot of the week, thou market day of souls, thou daybreak of eternal brightness, thou queen of days, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou among days. All the graces triumph in thee, all the ordinances conspire to enrich thee; the Father ruleth thee, the Son rose upon thee, the Spirit hath overshadowed thee. On thee light was created, the Holy Ghost descended, life hath been restored, Satan subdued, sin mortified, souls sanctified, the grave, death and hell conquered! Oh, how do men and women flutter up and down on the weekdays, as the dove on the waters, and can find no rest for their souls till they come to see their ark, till thou put forth thy hand and take them in. Oh, how they sit under thy shadows with great delight, and find thy fruits sweet to their taste! Oh, the mountings of the mind, the ravishing of the heart, the solace of the soul which on thee enjoy in the blessed Savior.”
- George Swinnock (1675), quoted in The Market Day of the Soul, by James T. Dennison, p. 3

"If you turn back your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight and the holy day of the LORD honorable; if you honor it, not going your own ways, or seeking your own pleasure, or talking idly; then you shall take delight in the LORD, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken."
- Isaiah 58:13-14

“For the Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.”
- Matthew 12:8

A recent visitor to COR sent me an email and mentioned Swinnock’s quote (see above) calling Sundays, “the market day of the soul”. That got me thinking. I was reminded of how often I skate into our Lord’s Day meetings and often the last things on my mind are calling this day a delight, and considering Jesus Christ as the Lord of the Sabbath. It seems to be easy to get caught up in the pronounced busyness of Sunday mornings and neglect the real reason for our Sunday gatherings. After all there is set-up and take-down, a resource table to put up, announcements to make, regulars to greet, visitors to greet, a sermon to consider, music, and all sorts of things to do. It seems like I can be so busy. But this day ought to truly be the market day of the soul. Because of the gospel labors of our Savior we have ceased from our labors and now enjoy true Sabbath rest.

On this day in particular, we have the body of believers gathered, songs are sung to God through the Risen Savior, the word is preached, offerings are given, the sacraments are administered, prayers are prayed, prophetic gifting is practiced, and a host of other things are engaged in that we don’t do at other times during the week. To love the Savior is to love Sundays as we gather with God’s people. These two things are inseparable, because this one day is the day that most resembles heaven. This one day ought to be the day most anticipated. This one day, of all days, ought to be our delight.

As I’ve thought about this I’ve been convicted to be more intentional about making the Lord’s Day a delight and to be more intentionally joyful on this day of days. Will you help me to remember? If you see me running around in a lather, because I’ve got so many things going on, please remind me to remember the Lord of the Sabbath and help me to make Sundays a delight.

Grateful for rest in the Savior,


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