Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Keeping the Sabbath Day holy...how?
We are back from Lake Louise in Alberta Cananda...I think the most beautiful place God made. Seriously. It was heavenly.
Rusty and I enjoyed five days together (God bless my parents for keeping my four kids that long!) where we just talked, and relaxed, and it was amazing! We did a pretty awesome hike, that resulted in my severe shin splints, and crippled me for a few days. But nonetheless, it was awesome.
We had a few questions on our mind to discuss this trip. We have already been mulling over and discussing how to free up our schedules a little this semester. (Yes, when you live in a college town, even adult lives revolve around semesters.)
Like many of you, we're too busy. That's another post.
Another question we have and were asking of the Lord during this trip was 'How do we keep the Sabbath Day holy?'
Up to this point, I'm not sure it has been. I started feeling this conviction a while back, and was noticing our Sundays being just like any other day. Busy. Filled with chores and to-do lists, and groceries to fight for at HEB...(it's hard not to want to ram your cart into the hundreds of roommates standing in front of the yogurt, blocking you, saying "I don't know...what kind of yogurt do YOU like?" "I don't know...what about YOU?" MOVE OVER!) Oh yeah, and church. Like many of you, there are no days off during the week, and we homeschool, so the errand running and to-dos take over the weekend. We're very involved in church, so there are meetings and classes as well.
But what about the Sabbath? What about rest? What about the concept of a holy day, in addition to our commitment to corporate worship in our body of believers?
We are looking at scripture and trying to determine what that looks like for us.
Some might consider the concept of keeping the Sabbath as an Old Covenant/expired idea. (As part of the Law that we were set free from.) But it is included in the Ten Commandments, which are all still very applicable in our New Covenant! I don't think it's expired, though that's how we treat it.
Jesus spoke out against the legalism of keeping the Sabbath by the pious Jewish leaders. They reprimanded him for healing on the Sabbath, and feeding his disciples. As always, Jesus was about the heart, not the rules! I know he wants our right heart in this.
I don't think there are rules to be enforced for all of us in keeping the Sabbath.
So what is there?
We looked at this passage, Isaiah 58:13-14:
13 "Keep the Sabbath day holy. Don't pursue your own interests on that day, but enjoy the Sabbath and speak of it with delight as the LORD's holy day. Honor the LORD in everything you do, and don't follow your own desires or talk idly. If you do this, 14 the LORD will be your delight. I will give you great honor and give you your full share of the inheritance I promised to Jacob, your ancestor. I, the LORD, have spoken!"
Keeping the Sabbath and not pursuing our own interests on this day should be our delight! We ought to look forward to our time of worship, rest, and reflection all week!
So this is what we've determined so far. In order to not "pursue our own interests", meaning our to-do list, chores, grocery shopping, errands, on Sunday, we need to shift things around in the week. We are trying to do a lot of shifting in our week anyway, and this is going to take forethought. It's going to take saying no to certain things. It's going to take commitment.
Secondly, as we are purposeful in doing this, we want to impress upon our children the spirit and delight of this commandment, and not rules or a bunch of "don'ts." Last week on the Sabbath, the kids and I watched one of my all-time favorite shows together, "Little House on the Prairie." The Ingalls...how I love them! And they kept the Sabbath Day holy! They were a God-loving, prairie-dress wearing, (tv) family! We decided that could be one of our new Sabbath traditions together. The kids LOVE that show too, which is a life long dream fulfilled for me! My husband has mocked it for so long, finally, someone in this house appreciates good, wholesome, cheesy, 70's tv with me!
One other little thing we decided was that I would not cook a huge meal on Sunday. I have done that some recently, because I wanted a special meal with us all here, but it eats up most of my day. So we decided our Sunday dinner is going to be BBQ sandwhiches. I just shred the chicken, and put in into the crockpot with a lot of BBQ sauce and a little soy sauce. Let it cook all day. My family loves this meal so much! So it's our new Sabbath, keeping it simple and holy meal!
I want our Sabbath Days to be marked with rest...togetherness...no rushing, no HEB, definitely no Wal-Mart! I want it to be a day that's different, because we've set it aside for the Lord. Yes, everyday is his, and everyday should be about worship. We're not missing that fact! But God said this day should be different, and that it was made to benefit us in that way (Mark 2:27) so we're going to aim for a real Sabbath these days.
What about y'all? Any thoughts, good ideas about this topic? I'd love to hear them!