KEEPING SABBATH

Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.  Exodus 20:8  NIV

 

Keeping Sabbath (or Sunday, whatever your tradition) seems mostly to be a thing of the past.  Some of us remember the time in our country when many stores and places of business were closed on Sunday, the “Lord’s Day.”  That was also the day most people went to church.

Orthodox Jews still honor the Sabbath as a day to rest, refrain from work, and to contemplate the coming Messiah.  Many follow certain restrictions regarding travel and other activities.

But the point of this reflection is self-examination of our own Sabbath/Sunday practices.  How do we keep the Sabbath day holy?  Isaiah (58:13, 14) expands on this thought:

 “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the LORD’s holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,

Then you will find your joy in the Lord…”

 Do our Sundays look any different from other days of the week?  Do we do as we please on Sunday?  Or do we set aside the day as holy unto the Lord?  Is our Sabbath practice a delight to the Lord?  Is our conversation different on Sunday?

I remember reading about the Billy Graham household when his children were growing up.  Ruth Graham ensured that Bible stories and games were available to the children and made Sundays a special day when the children could give themselves and their time to the Lord and each other.  Sundays were not just another day for entertainment but rather a time to spend together with God.

What does your Sabbath/Sunday look like?  Is it a delight to the Lord or the same old pursuit of self-indulgence?  Is it spent in loving others or is it one more day of narcissism?  I rather like the first part of Isaiah 58:14 that informs us of the joy we will find when we make the Sabbath a delight.  Worth trying, isn’t it?

 

Father, restore to us the joy of keeping Sabbath, even if it means we have to change our whole Sunday itinerary.  A radical shift could be just what we need.  In Jesus’ name.  AMEN.

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