Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Working *for* the Sabbath

It's true. Many Christians think that the commandment to observe the Sabbath and make it holy doesn't count anymore. In fact when pressed, you might find that they actually believe in the 9 commandments. Observing the Sabbath is inconvenient, counter-cultural, and can seem like a waste of time in our task-oriented society. Businesses like Chick Fil A, Hobby Lobby (and I'm sure there are others) are closed on Sundays, and they're not hurting for profits. But they're in the minority.

We've been looking at the Sabbath at Perimeter, both in Sunday's sermon and in our current discipleship track. I've been convicted. I don't think I've ever observed the Sabbath, at least not the way I should. Sure, there have been Sundays when I've sat around on my lazy tush - but that wasn't to make it holy, it was just to be lazy. So what does it mean to make it holy? Randy Pope talks about not just getting off the treadmil, but walking over the window and gazing out at God's glory, and resting in that. It's a time to reconnect with God and set it aside for Him. Often, there are too many things ocupying my mind on Sundays and too many tasks to be done for me to focus on Him. Someone brought up the idea of working six days not just to keep up with work, but actually working towards Sunday, so that the Sabbath can be made holy without distractions. (We won't get into debates here about what day of the week the Sabbath is...) I kind of like that idea. It means that when I'm scrubbing my floors or toilets I'm actually doing it to the glory of God so that it won't distract me on the Sabbath. It gives whole new meaning to the menial tasks I do every day.

Working six days for the Sabbath gives purpose and motivation. And it clears the Sabbath for a focus on God. Another point Randy brought up in his sermon is that when we do observe the Sabbath - even when on vacation or when other things try to get in the way - we actually influence the next generation to do the same. If every time we go on vacation we skip church on Sundays and just carry on like the Sabbath is just another day, then our kids will likely adopt a laissez faire attitude to church when they have the opportunity to make their own choices. But when we stand for something, and make sacrifices for it, it impacts our kids long term. So, with that said, i have some work to do for the Sabbath.

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