Mark 2:1-28; Matthew 9:1-17, 12:1-8; Luke 5:17-39, 6:1-5
Do you worship on Saturday or Sunday? To what extent do you go to make that day holy? Do you style your hair and put on makeup? Do you shop? Do you mow the lawn? If you get snow overnight, do you shovel? Do you cook dinner for your family or check your email? Do you go to a ball game? Are you a doctor, a nurse, a salesperson who has a job that requires you to work?
What does it mean to keep the Sabbath holy?
Here’s another question. WHY do you refrain from doing certain things on the day you set aside to worship God with fellow believers? Is it a sin to do work on that day? Do you think God gives you bonus points for refraining from work that day? Is your salvation tied to what you do or don’t do on Sunday?
Jesus said, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” God set an example from creation to take a day of rest. He put that in his top ten commandments but the extent to which a person was to go to keep that commandment was nearly impossible. What does that mean for us today?
Jesus himself picked grain on a Sabbath because he was hungry. And we know Jesus did not sin.
Personally, I choose not to shop or mow on Sundays. Not because I think to do those things is sinful. I choose not to in order to follow God’s example. But I cook on Sunday. I go to ball games on Sunday afternoons. I might pull a weed in my walkway or pick up a towel off the floor. But generally speaking, I consider Sunday a day of rest.
That’s what it was intended to be. A day to focus on God without the distractions of work. God doesn’t need the day. But we do.
If you have a job that requires you to work on Sunday, I hope you go to work guilt-free. And I hope you take another day to rest, to spend added time with the Lord, to refresh yourself for the demands in the days ahead. Remember… the Sabbath, a day of rest, is a gift God gave us. And he wants us to use it.
Dear God, I pray that your people will honor you every day. But may we follow your example and spend a Sabbath day’s rest in our week. I thank you for Sundays, the day I am able to go to church, to worship with fellow believers and hear your Word preached from the pulpit. I thank you for the times I spend with my family on those lazy afternoons. I thank you that on those days, my focus on you is an extended time. It refreshes me and challenges me and prepares me for the week ahead. You must have known how important that would be or you would not have rested yourself when you created us. You would not have placed that in the Ten Commandments. But help us not to put so much emphasis on the day that we forget what it is intended to be. It’s your gift to us. Thank you.