We’re on our 4th commandment and this one is a point for the Christian civil war going on.
We all agree to keep the sabbath…sort of. We just can’t seem to agree on which day of the week it actually is. The most common observation is Sunday. Saturday is next. I also know of folks who say it’s Wednesday. I’m not even talking about Jewish stuff yet.
So, before we get into the sabbath, I wanted to address that. I happen to think that it doesn’t matter as much as we’re making it out to be. I think, in this era, we can look at it like this: Take a day to rest. Which day really doesn’t matter. I believe this.
That’s all I have on that.
So, when we talk about the day of rest, what are we really saying? God talks about the sabbath as essentially being a holy day. A day where we simply don’t work.
My question is, do we observe the Sabbath as originally intended? So, let’s look at what the Sabbath was in the Old Testament.
I visited a website and stumbled upon their interpretation of what the Sabbath really is. Here’s a block:
The Hebrew word sabbath literally means “to cease.” Just as God rested from His creation work, we are to rest from our day-to-day occupations and refocus on what’s really important. It’s a day to push the reset button. Taking a Sabbath rest is an act of faith; it’s a reminder that no matter what we do, God is in control. When we cease from pursuing our material goals for one day each week, we’re saying, “God, I trust You to maintain control while I spend this day focusing on You. I trust You to provide for my needs seven days a week even if I only work for six of them. Regardless of how much money I could earn today, or how much remains on my to-do list from last week, today I’m going to rest my mind and body and bask in Your presence.”
I want to start off by saying that you and I both know a majority of people who claim to observe this day do not fully embrace it as this description would imply.
This leads me to the USA. Our society does not rest. One day of not opening shop is a day of less income and profits. We as Christians must continue to go to work if we want to be employed.
Now let’s back up for a moment with this: There is some protection for religious reasons of not working on. They are generally holidays, however.
Let’s also note that a “day job” of your typical “9 to 5” is never on the weekends anyway. So then, who is working on the weekends?
Biggest answer is the retail industry. Now, this is interesting because we tend to have a real need for retail items like groceries and clothes. Combine with the fact that we are at work during the day and potentially have activities at night, for some people, the weekend is the best time to “run some errands”.
We have other industries that operate on the weekend that simply require you being available during that time. So, what can we do about this? We, Christians…what can we do?
There is an item in that quote about having faith that God will provide for you during that one day as you focus on the six. However, as always, God is a very understanding God. I believe that He would not punish you for not completely observing the Sabbath if that’s how it is for you to survive.
HOWEVER, it would be wise for us to defend at least our church time. For example, my church has two services and the entire block is 8 am to 12:15 pm. If I’m doing lighting or serving in some other way, those hours are extended. When I fill out job applications, I basically never put my Sunday mornings as a time of availability. I’m at church spending time with God and His people. That’s essentially what the Lord wants.
Then again, in recent years, church as been a source of major stress for me but that’s another story. In a perfect…eh, ideal world, church is a place of rest.
Can we ever get to a place where we operate on six days a week? Probably not. Does the USA care? Hahahahahaha.
In the end, we need to find the right balance to figuring out how to observe the sabbath in what can be considered limited these days.
I’ll tell you what I plan to do. I don’t intend on doing any work for my job. I got a big report due? I’d better manage my time better during the week because Sunday isn’t an option. Same with my school work. I simply should not study…or at least not as intensively.
What should we do? Spend time with God. It’s really His day, when you think about it.
Another thing, and I think this is big: WE GET TO REST.
I think God made an example here. God is God. I’m pretty sure He didn’t need to rest. He was letting us know how things should play out for our work week. Go hard for six days and then relax. If God did it, we should not feel guilty. We should not feel like bums. We should not feel like slackers. The world will accuse you of this.
We live in a society that is “GO, GO, GO!” every day. God knows how we are designed. He knows we need time to recharge. Regroup. What better way to do this than to go to the ultimate source of strength for a boost?
But what about our spirit?
That’s what it comes down to. We neglect our spirit and then everything else crumbles and we don’t know what happened.
My ultimate suggestion: Do as little as possible on your sabbath. Do as little work as possible. Go to church. Worship. Breathe. Close your eyes. Just relax and let God hold you for one day.
Then you’ll never let it go. You’ll always want to keep the sabbath.