I do not recall ever hearing much complaint. It was not unusual. This was simply how things were. Everyone unwittingly adapted to what was the norm. We were all accustomed to the force of the still quiet. Had there been any chaos in the days preceding, it too would soon be forced to comply. The early morning sunrise seemed to have an invisible bell that quietly rang through the air without being seen. There was no real indicator it was there, but somehow we were all certain that it was. It was indescribable; a strange conflicting clash between humdrum and happy.
Everyone knew, if there was anything deemed necessary, it would have had to be pre-planned. If anything was needing to be bought, brought, cooked, ordered, delivered, fixed, repaired, towed or included – it would have to be done in advance or not at all.
Because on Sunday, rest was the unspoken requirement; the day all were forced (or expected) to be still.
There would be families gathered together for dinner, communion and community. There were Believers assembled together to commemorate the resurrection of Christ. There were planned outings with one another, purely to build relationships and closeness.
There was time for worship.
Today, Sunday’s are inconspicuously stapled to the rest of the days of the week. It is no longer its own special day, with its own special place. Sunday’s have conformed. There is no longer a distinct difference when compared. For many, it has become a catch-all. Any undertaking that was unable to be pressed into the prior six days can now be scheduled on the seventh.
In Exodus, the Lord commanded the Israelites against this very concept. “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. You are to labor six days and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath to the Lord your God. You must not do any work …..”
To not do any work is an idea many of us cannot comprehend. Often, we find it difficult to give up our own agendas, our scheduled programs or our plans.
Like the Israelites, when they were enslaved, we too have been groomed to do all you can; to labor without ceasing. That to stop and rest gives a notion of being lazy or slothful. That to be idle is unproductive and a waste of valuable “to do” time. That there is always something to do and you must always be doing something.
For those of us who are in Christ, we are not required to keep the ceremonial law of the Sabbath Day. <Hebrews 8, Galatians 4:10, Colossians 2:16>. Yet, the principal the Lord provides through the Sabbath is a very practical model to the benefit of us all. The need to stop and rest was crucial for them then and advantageous for us now.
Thought to Ponder:
If we are ever to profit from the principles provided through the Sabbath, we must first intentionally add Sabbath Rest – Sabbath Margin – Sabbath Time to our days. “Remember, you were a slave in the land of Egypt, but the Lord your God brought you out ….” <Deut. 5:12-15>
You are now free ….to take some time to rest…. in your acknowledgement of Him.