Sunday, 20 June 2010
The other day I was riding in the car with my sister discussing the Ten Commandments. I asked her whether or not she felt that Christians had an obligation to keep the Old Testament laws. As we bounced around our opinions on the issue I made an interesting observation: When I mentioned the 4th commandment, “Remember the Sabbath”, she quickly dismissed it by saying, “Well no one does that!” and I realized; she was right. It became clear to me that very few Christians take this commandment all that seriously. It was almost laughable that the one commandment that begins with “remember” so many of us forget!
This got me to thinking about what I thought a typical Sabbath day would look like if I were obeying this law the way God intended me to. What type of activities did I think God would have me do on the Sabbath, and what type of activities may He want me to avoid? So here’s what I came up with:
5 things to do on the Sabbath
- Attend a worship service
- Have a picnic with friends and family and discuss how God has shown up in your life that week
- Visit friends in the hospital or in need
- Spend time alone with God in silent prayer at home or in a natural setting
- Study the Scriptures
5 things NOT to do on the Sabbath
- Go to work
- Go grocery shopping or to the mall
- Spend the day cooking and cleaning
- Sit on the couch watching TV
- Facebook friends
Since I don’t usually work on Saturday’s, I thought I did a pretty decent job of keeping the Sabbath Day holy in the past. However, when officially putting this to the test, the Holy Spirit convicted me several times throughout my day. I realized how much time I spent on the Lord’s Day doing things for me instead of for Him. I’d like to think it’s the “go-getter” in me that made this so difficult, but if I’m being honest with myself, I think it’s the sinner in me that makes this so.
The key seems to be making the Sabbath observance a joy instead of a burden. It should be a day of delight, a day set aside to spend time with a God we love so dearly. We have to be careful that our Sabbath does not become a meaningless weekly ritual where we learn to check the box. It’s really all about honoring our relationship with God on the specific day He so graciously set aside for us.
Psalms 92:1 A Psalm or Song for the sabbath day. It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto your name, O most High.