Sundays were respected as a day of rest when I was a kid. The Sabbath was different than other days—no one in our family worked, other than those who prepared meals and helped with kitchen cleanup. My folks usually retired for an afternoon nap after lunch, and me? Well, I wrote letters or read and wished Mom and Dad wouldn’t sleep so long ‘cause the silence spelled b-o-r-i-n-g to me.
Boredom ended when my parents woke. If the weather was good, we’d pile into the car and take an afternoon drive or visit the nearby fast-food restaurant and buy soft ice cream cones. If we were really lucky, we’d take home a jug of root beer, too. In winter, we’d welcome guests or we’d ride our snowmobile until our noses froze. Yes, Sundays were different from the other days, and they were good.
Sunday as the Sabbath changed face for me after I married and moved to Nepal. In that culture, we worked six days per week, with Saturday being the day off. At first I felt like a traitor to my faith. Celebrate the Sabbath on Saturday? Really? If I was to be effective in that setting, it meant being flexible so I soon learned that regardless which day we refrained from physical labor, the principle remained the same: we worked six days and rested one.
Scripture contains many references to the Sabbath. Take these verses, for instance:
“Keep the Sabbath day holy. Don’t pursue your own interest on that day, but enjoy the Sabbath and speak of it with delight as the LORD’s holy day. Honor the Sabbath in everything you do on that day, and don’t follow your own desires or talk idly. Then the LORD will be your delight. I will give you great honor and satisfy you with the inheritance I promised to your ancestor Jacob. I, the LORD, have spoken!” (Isaiah 58:13,14)
God knows what’s best for us. He knows we need physical rest. And He knows we need time to withdraw from the rush. Let’s regard the Sabbath as His gift to us. Let’s respect it, enjoy it, and be grateful for the time to refocus and be refreshed.
How do you spend the Sabbath? Any insights you’d like to share?
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