Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
September 4, 1969

The Christian's Saturday Night

Tommy McClure

Those who have studied the Romantic Poets will remember a poem by Robert Burns (1759-1796) entitled "The Cotter's Saturday Night." The author describes the cotter (in Scotland, a peasant occupying a small holding) as he makes his way to his humble dwelling, toil-worn from the week's work, late in the evening on a chill November Saturday. He tells, in touching language, of the children's glee as they come " meet their dad," the cheerful supper, and their family worship in which "the priest-like father reads the sacred page."

What of the Christian's Saturday night? What of the general tenor of this activities on the night before the first day of the week?

In Old Testament times the Jews had their day of preparation. When God gave them manna in the wilderness, He instructed them to gather twice as much on the sixth day. (Exodus 16:5, 22-24). The day before the sabbath was a day of preparation. (Mk. 15:42). We are not required to keep the sabbath today; however, by apostolic example we are taught to meet upon the first day of the week to break bread. (Acts 20:7).

A certain amount of preparation is prerequisite to success in any form of activity. No person can successfully teach without preparation; no man can successfully perform surgery nor administer medicine without preparation; no man can be successful in the administration of the affairs of State without preparation; and no responsible person can go to heaven without it, for heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people.

In view of the above unquestioned facts, who can doubt the importance and worth of preparing for study, teaching and worship on the Lord's Day? Surely, no reasonable person will deny that the Christian's Saturday night is spent best when spent in such preparation.

However, sad as the situation is, the Saturday nights of many members of the church are not spent in preparation for the events of the Lord's Day, but rather in idleness or frivolity! Note some of the ill-effects of this unwise use (rather mis-use) of the time: (1) Frequently, small children are cross and fretful during the services simply because they have been kept up until a late hour on Saturday night while their parents were having a good time. (2) Bible lessons are sorely neglected, if not completely ignored, by both parents and children. For this reason many sit through the classes (if they happen to get to the building in time) completely in the dark, so bewildered and confused that everything is "all Greek" to them and they conclude that the Bible is beyond their understanding. Concentrated study on Saturday night would eliminate the blank look so characteristic of some members on Sunday morning. (3) Even physical preparations — shining shoes, pressing clothes, etc. — are neglected and left until Sunday morning. Consequently, there is a great rush which usually develops into a mad frenzy, and when the family finally gets to the building no one is in a fit frame of mind to grasp the meaning of God's word, much less to worship Him in spirit and in truth. It is not surprising to hear these people complain about getting little or nothing from the service! It's true, they really don't! What is surprising, however, is the fact that many are either not wise enough to recognize the cause or not honest enough to admit it.

Brethren, sisters, let's make better use of our Saturday nights!

— 2917 El Paso Way, Antioch, California 94509