Monday, April 10, 2006

Thankful for the Lord's Day

     Both the actual text of my post on Friday as well as the lack of posts in general recently reveal something of the level of my activity and overall busy-ness.  It is from this background that I find myself today so thankful for a day of rest.
     I learned from an early age that the Lord’s Day was different from the rest of the week.  Not only did we go to worship, but the things we did and didn’t do was different, too.  As my brother and I reached our teen years, our family, often my grandfather, and sometimes guests would sit around the dinner table talking well into the afternoon.  Part of that time often involved some reflection on what had happened the week before, events or circumstances for which we were thankful, or particular happenings to which we looked forward in the week ahead.
     I think I’m still trying to figure out what God is calling us to do and not to do in the Fourth Commandment.  It is clear that we are to remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, and to rest that day, as He did after Creation.  (It is also clear that we are to work hard on the other six days, not only to be productive as we rule the earth and subdue it, but also in preparation for the Lord’s Day.)  But what forms that remembering, keeping holy, and resting is to take I am not entirely sure; there are many activities which I could and sometimes do that I question.  
     At the same time, there are many good things which I know are entirely appropriate and in keeping with the spirit of the commandment, and too often I neglect them.  I am well aware that one can easily become caught up in a list of dos and don’ts; the outgrowth of that is what so often caused dissention between Jesus and the religious leaders of His day.  He made it clear that works for mercy and necessity are definitely appropriate on His day.
     But I digress.  What I started out to say is what blessing it is, and how thankful I am for it, that God has not only designed us to need a day of rest once a week, but He has also graciously provided such a day!  I wonder how much more smoothly life would go if everyone followed the pattern of working on six days of the week and then spent the Lord’s Day remembering the Sabbath, keeping it holy, and resting.

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