Tuesday, July 5, 2016
Sabbath Slipping Away. . .
Of course we are not talking about blue laws and the kind of Sabbath keeping that would have satisfied the Pharisees of old. We are talking about lives in which priority was given to the weekly assembly of the baptized around the Word and Table of the Lord. The priority given to time together in prayer and study of God's Word (or Sunday school). The priority was given to refreshing relationships with those who share the pews and a cup of coffee as well. The priority was given to family, together in Church and together at home. I know that this may sound like a dream or a flash back to another era, but the most important thing about Sabbath is how we value the time and the time we value enough for faith and family.
It seems like we struggle in this area more than ever. I am not complaining about people who go to Kroger instead of Church or who spend their day catching up on all the loose ends left from busy Mondays through Saturdays. I am speaking of the sense of loss we feel in lives far too busy and far too governed by commitments that make us feel we have no time at all. Could it be that even though we equate busy with happy, the reality is that busy too often steals our happiness and leaves us empty. The emptiness isolates us from those we care about most and it creates not only distance from the things we know should be important (faith and family) but saps our energy with guilt (yes, guilt). We know what we should be doing even though we don't do it.
Sunday has become a catch up day for people whose lives are over-scheduled and whose expectations are way over the top. We are too afraid of missing something to spend some of our precious time on those things that do not seem to be productive. The Church has too often competed for our time and attention as if worship and faith and family were simply other burdens to be balanced along with sports and social media and work and everything else.
Years ago I read a book by Marva Dawn on Sabbath keeping. I must admit I thought it was kind of goofy. I don't remember all her points but I think her premise is still correct. Man was not made for the Sabbath but the Sabbath for man. I read that somewhere. Far from the rigid requirements that make demands upon us, God made command for the spiritual rest of the soul in His mercy, for the rest of His Word in hearts and lives, and the rest of lives spinning too fast and too far.
It makes me think. I hope it makes you think.