Of Religious Worship and the Sabbath Day.
Chapter 22, Paragraph 8.
“The Sabbath is then kept holy unto the Lord, when men after a due preparing of their hearts, and ordering their common affairs aforehand, do not only observe a holy rest all day, from their own works, words, and thoughts, about their worldly employment, and recreations,…”
Vacations take planning. Before we can relax, we have to make sure that things are taken care of: what are we going to eat? Where will we stay? Who will watch the pets while we’re away? Much like planning for a trip away, we also have to plan beforehand in order to observe the Sabbath. To do so, we prepare our hearts and get our affairs in order. Anticipating being away from the everyday cares we possess, we pray that we will not be distracted from keeping the day holy. Any errand that can be done beforehand is taken care of, leaving us free on Sundays to refrain from the things of this world and focus on worshiping our God.
When we observe the Lord’s Day, the ordinary work of the week is put on hold. Paying that bill, buying the week’s groceries, writing that paper – put them all on the waiting list for the next day. Even those things that we can freely enjoy the rest of the week are paused. Time to read that bestselling novel or watch the latest movie? Not happening on the day devoted to God. Sunday is not Saturday redux.
Observing the Christian Sabbath is a hard practice in our modern culture. We seem to live in one of two extremes: either we are wedded to our work, or monogamous to our “me-time.” The Sabbath pushes them off the table altogether and directs us to focus solely on God. Resting from our work, we are demonstrating our reliance on God to provide all of our needs. Ceasing from our own pleasures, we demonstrate the supremacy of God over anything else we do on this earth. Keeping the sabbath holy is not something anyone can do perfectly, but with the Holy Spirit’s help, we may strive to keep it nonetheless. As Christians, let us learn to call the sabbath a delight.
Questions to Consider
- Is there anything you currently do on Sundays that you should cease?