The Best Day of the Week: Why We Love the Lord’s Day, by William Boekestein, with illustrations by Brian Hartwell. Grand Rapids, MI: Reformation Heritage, 2022, 34 pages, $15.00.

In this picture book for young audiences (ages 2–7), William Boekestein and Brian Hartwell present a dramatization of what a family serious about worshiping God rightly does on the Lord’s Day. The language is fairly simple, and the typeface is fairly large, allowing seven-plus-year-olds to read alone, but the book seems primarily geared as a read-aloud book. While reading aloud, a parent could discuss how the worship depicted in the story mirrors the worship patterns of their own family, providing a springboard for training about the deeper meaning of their family’s habits.

The theme of Christ’s calling the little children to himself (Mark 10:14) is woven throughout the book, emphasizing that Sunday worship is for children as well as adults. So much of our corporate worship is geared toward an older audience: creeds and confessions contain words that are hard to understand, hymns contain poetic allusions unfamiliar to young children, and sermons often set forth concepts and principles at a level above the grasp of young minds. This book encourages parents to make worship applicable and accessible for even the very youngest and encourages children to participate in it rather than treat it as a bystander would treat it.

The narrative of each page describes a different aspect of the family habits of worship, beginning with family devotions Saturday evening and progressing through each element of the Sunday worship service. While reading aloud, a parent could elaborate n why we “sometimes use very old words to speak our faith aloud” by describing, at a level appropriate for the child, the rich history of the creeds and confessions. A parent could elaborate more on the obscure poetic allusions from a recently sung hymn. A parent could take the time to describe in easy-to-understand words the meaning of a recent sermon. A parent could explain more fully the symbols of bread and wine in the Lord’s Supper and why only adults are being served, fanning the flame of the child’s desire to one day participate with everyone. Has the child earned money for the offering? Explain the meaning behind the collection: God’s love for a cheerful giver, God’s building of the kingdom, God’s providing for his ministers. The final words of the book are that Sunday is the “emblem of eternal rest.” This is an opportunity for the explanation of God’s heavenly promise of the joy that awaits his children.

The emphasis on preparation for worship by going to bed early on Saturday night, thinking ahead to be sure Sunday morning routines run smoothly, and ridding your mind of unnecessary distractions during worship offers opportunities to discuss the principle that worshiping God is serious business and should be entered into thoughtfully.

William Boekestein’s book provides a framework for parents to train their children in the delights of the Lord’s Day. Reading the book by itself, without filling in the gaps with familial anecdotes and parental devotion for the Lord, may leave a flavor of duty without love, but joined with these two aspects of personalization and passion, the book could serve as an excellent guidebook for parents to instill a proper regard for God’s worship and a delight for it.

Brian Hartwell’s illustrations depict in simple ways a family with eager children and purposeful parents. The artwork style is reminiscent of the child’s book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and has a patchwork teddy bear on most pages.

Cynthia Rowland is member of Redeemer Presbyterian Church (PCA), Concord, Massachusetts. Ordained Servant Online, May, 2023.

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Contact the Editor: Gregory Edward Reynolds

Editorial address: Dr. Gregory Edward Reynolds,
827 Chestnut St.
Manchester, NH 03104-2522
Telephone: 603-668-3069

Electronic mail: reynolds.1@opc.org

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Ordained Servant: May 2023

Missions in Romans

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Position Available: Executive Director of Great Commission Publications


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