Friday, April 1, 2016

Observing the Christian Sabbath {Part 3: Philosophy of Application}

We've discussed why believers should observe the Christian Sabbath. I've shared the story of how my husband and I came to this understanding. Today I'd like to look more specifically at application.

 Practically speaking, how can one observe the Christian Sabbath? Especially for moms, how can we make the Sabbath a day of worship and rest when we are still so busy with our every day work of child rearing?


First, let me clear the air a little bit. There is this common idea of "sabbathing" that Christians like to toss around- a day of leisure and rest and pleasure, which can be scheduled at one's own convenience.

Rest is only half of the Biblical equation of Sabbath. The Day was also, primarily, intended for worship. We take a day away from our normal work, responsibilities, and pleasures {check out Isaiah 58:13-14}, for rest, yes, but more significantly, for the spiritual refreshment that comes from worship.

Also note that we aren't intended to pick the day ourselves. In the Old Testament, God clearly instructed His people to observe it on Saturdays. Because of Christ's Resurrection on the first day of the week, and because of the apostolic example, Christians now keep it on Sunday's.

In our culture it's becoming increasingly popular for churches to hold extra services on Saturday evenings or at other times. More convenient for members, and that way we can check the box for church attendance each week, easy-peasy.

I normally don't take rigid stances on this blog, in order to preserve a gracious spirit of unity... but this time I just have to say it. Worship isn't about us. It isn't about our convenience or what fits most nicely into our schedules. There is a New Testament precedent set that Sunday is the Lord's Day, and that that is the day believers are to meet in their local assembly. Our Savior laid down His very life for us, shed His precious blood... is it really too much to give Him one day?


With that ground covered, let's briefly take the positive tour of what the day is for, Biblically. We've already mentioned rest and worship. From the corrections Jesus made in the Gospels, we can also draw the conclusions that Sabbath is for acts of necessity {Jesus' disciples picking heads of grain} and acts of mercy {Jesus healing}.

Necessity means that Christian medical professionals, law enforcement, and a few other key positions will have to work the occasional Sunday. It means that if your pipes burst on a Sunday morning you will be compelled to drop everything else and take action immediately. Didn't Jesus say if you're donkey falls in a ditch on the Sabbath, you are going to have to get it out? Moms still have to feed their families, change diapers, and keep their little ducklings in  row.

Mercy means that the Sabbath is an excellent day to visit folks in the hospital or nursing home or prison. You can honor the Sabbath by writing letters of encouragement to the struggling, or helping your neighbor if their pipes burst. The Sabbath was made for man, man wasn't made for the Sabbath.

Because we no longer live under ceremonial law, we don't have a black and white list of do's and don't as believers seeking to honor the Lord's Day. We rely heavily on these principles laid down by our Lord Jesus, and form our own personal convictions through much prayer, study of the Word, and seeking the counsel of our Elders and other wise believers.


Because this post is {once again!} getting far lengthier than the average blog reader's attention span can manage {myself included!}, I'll call it quits for now and pick up again next week. Promise!

Stay tuned for the specifics of how we spend the Lord's Day in our home, and ways a busy mom can cut herself a little slack despite the constant demands of child rearing. And then I promise to lay this lengthy series to rest. Bear with me. Ha ha.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...