Tuesday, January 30, 2007

How do we then keep Sunday's special?

Have you ever had this passage used as a defence against legalism about Sundays? It comes from Mark 2.
23One Sabbath he was going through the grainfields, and as they made their way, his disciples began to pluck heads of grain. 24And the Pharisees were saying to him, "Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?" 25And he said to them, "Have you never read what David did, when he was in need and was hungry, he and those who were with him: 26how he entered the house of God, in the time of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those who were with him?" 27And he said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. 28So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath."
I was raised to believe that Sundays were a day of rest and worship. One doesn't do things on Sundays that one really doesn't need to work-wise. It doesn't mean you can't have fun, or that meals can't be made or that cows can't be milked, but you don't go out and put in the hay, and you don't do laundry and so on and so forth.

I still, for the most part, hold to that. Not just because I was raised that way, but because God says "remember the sabbath and keep it holy." Yes I know, old testament law and we live in New testament times and the sabbath is Saturday not Sunday so therefore that doesn't hold true does it? My only response to such people is well....so what... you keep Saturdays as your day of rest and worship and do nothing that you don't have to?

I"m generally met with silence when I ask that.

I know lots of people who treat Sunday like any other day of the week with "church" being just another activity that is done. Just like Justin and I go to the library for book club on Friday, many people treat going to church just like that! And the rest of the day is filled with "laundry, grocery shopping and the like." And asked why... I've had this passage thrown at me... but you are just being legalistic. Sundays are made for man! We can do what we want.

So what then makes Sunday special? How do we keep Sundays special? How do we give due reverence to God and not make it seem like worshipping him is just "another thing" that we do?

I do know it's not is just doing whatever we want.

What do you think?

Since a reply was made I was forced to re-post what my query really is. For people who choose to work on Sunday...whether that work be laundry, grocery shopping, sweeping the floors, working on the car etc.... For people who choose to do these activities AND go to church, how do YOU make Sunday special? How do you make the Lord's day important? If you have children, how do you teach them that church isn't just another "thing" that you do -- especially if the rest of the day (on Sunday) is no different than the rest of the week?


Rileysowner said...

That is a good question, one that I probably prevented you from answering more yourself by letting the boy come and bug you. :)

Anyway, in answer to your question, I guess the thing that needs to be dealt with is what does it mean that "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath."

Does that mean we can do whatever we want? If that is the case, what makes the Sabbath different. Don't we pretty much do whatever we want the other days of the week as well? It seems to me that if the Sabbath being made for man simply means we can do whatever we want, then the statement really means nothing at all.

However, what it could mean is this, that the Sabbath, properly celebrated, is made for the good of humanity. Remember Jesus is dealing with the Pharisees here. They had all their special rules about the Sabbath. Jesus is responding to these oral traditions that in trying to protect the Sabbath had changed it from being a good thing for people to a bad thing, a burden.

Having said that, it seems that when Jesus teaches that the "Sabbath is made for man," he is saying that in what the Sabbath is supposed to be it is good and beneficial for us.

It is good for us to take one day in seven to spend in worship of God, in doing works of mercy, and yes, in physical rest and recreation. We need that physically, but as believers we need it even more spiritually. It is a time set aside to build your relationship to God, and that is a very good thing. To illustrate, how strong do you think your relationship with your spouse (assuming you are married) would be if you only took 1-2 hours a week as your time together? I would guess that things would not be as they should be.

Yes, I know some will say, "But I do have my private devotional time." Yes, you do, but it is not the same as having a day set aside for God where you purposely put aside the regular day to day activities you do, to be about the things of God with God's people.

Annette said...

Objections I have heard from other people... I don't need anyone to tell me how to read the bible I can do that all by myself. I don't need to go to church to have some preacher tell me what he's learned, I can talk with my friends and learn what I want about God that way.

Note: these are not my arguments, these are what I've heard others say. Personally, I think it's good for everyone to have one day in seven that they take off, as in really take off. Setting it aside for a greater purpose (God) is even better.

I recall a study being done on whether it has to be six on and one off, or if other schedules would work as well. They discovered that what God set up actually works the best (which I thought was way cool at the time).

I guess what I'm really wondering, is for people who choose to do their laundry or grocery shopping on Sunday, as well as go to church, what sets Sunday aside as special or important?

So for those who choose to do work type things on Sunday, how do you teach your children (if you have any) that Sunday is a day that is special to God? How do you teach them that church isn't just another thing that you do, and the rest of the day you can do whatever you want? How is Sunday seen as special?

Ched said...

This is an important issue to think through.

Anonymous said...

Isn't the Bible Sabbath still the 7th day? The Catholic Church continues to proudly boast it had the authority to change it from Saturday to Sunday. One Californian Catholic church declares that if you profess to follow the Bible then you should really be keeping Saturday special. Please know that in keeping "Sunday special" you are only defending a man-made law. Why do this? Support God's Ten Commandments and keep that special. Your questions are welcome but please know beforehand this subject has been exhaustively investigated and those worn out objections to the 7th day can be easily addressed. There are now 502 churches and denominations who have woken up to the truth about the 7th day and are now 7th day keeping churches. The number is growing. Keep Saturday special and be Biblically accurate. Your questions are very welcome.

Herb Kersten
Gospel Evangelist

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