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YOUR Sunday?

     While scanning the paper the other day, I was brought up short by this ad.  “Sunday. Your Day.”

     I read on to the next line:  “Sunday is ALL about you.”  Whoa!  And that same idea was in the final line:  “It’s your Sunday.”

     My mind immediately went to the Fourth Commandment:  “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy”  Exodus 20: 8 (NIV).  The Contemporary English Version is even more specific:  “Remember that the Sabbath Day belongs to me [the Lord].

     We have come a long way from the days when all stores were closed on Sunday (the day that Christians commemorate as their Sabbath), activities were limited, families ate at home instead of going to a restaurant, and good Christian young people would not think of doing homework on Sunday.  Some may remember reading the Elsie Dinsmore books in which Elsie was distressed that her father read a “secular” book on Sunday.

     Orthodox Jews still observe the Sabbath by not doing any work on the Sabbath including cooking meals, walking to places rather than the work of driving a vehicle, etc.  Some friends of mine just returned from a trip to Israel.  They encountered a “Sabbath elevator:”  the elevator automatically went up and down, stopping at each floor so that the observant Jew would not even have to push the button on the Sabbath!

     In today’s society, it is difficult to imagine not going to a restaurant for Sunday dinner, even if it means that others have to work to make the meal.  Many Christians have to work on Sunday because their jobs require it.

     I am not calling for us to go back to the observances of previous times.  However, I think it would be wise to re-evaluate HOW we are keeping the Sabbath holy.  Are we really using the Sabbath as a day of rest as the Lord commanded?  Or do we consider Sunday just another day of the week—or even try to crowd in other activities that we are just “too busy” for during the week?

     How are we modeling the Sabbath observance for our children?  I have heard speakers suggest that if we must work on Sunday, we should set apart another day of the week to honor the Lord’s Day. 

     The concept referred to in the ad reflects the thinking of many Americans—Sunday is MY day.   If a person does not have a personal relationship with the Lord, it is easy to see why he/she would have the hedonistic view that Sunday is MY day, almost as if it were a right.

     As Christians, are we showing that we have a different view of Sunday?  Or do our neighbors see us doing the same things they do such as mowing our lawns, going pleasure shopping, etc.

     No, I am not suggesting we go back to a rigid list of do’s and don’ts for our Sabbath observance.  However, we need to remember that Sunday is NOT our day.  As the Lord instructed us, the Sabbath Day belongs to HIM.  He calls us to REST on that day.  He set aside one day of rest for our benefit. Why do we get burned out in our jobs?  Why do we seem to contract every virus that comes along?  God prescribed a rest that many of us ignore.  Scientists have proved that without that day of rest, people tend to have emotional and physical, as well as spiritual problems.   In fact, studies have shown that even machines need a day of rest.   

     Perhaps as a unit, each family can discuss the Fourth Commandment and decide how they can properly honor the Sabbath, thus honoring God.  In many ways, we have made this commandment weak or perhaps ignored it altogether.  Let us each individually, as well as a family unit, take an inventory of how we observe the Lord’s Day and purposefully make the changes to bring the Fourth Commandment back to its rightful place in the Ten Commandments.

Copyright © 2008-2015 Shirley Shedd

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