WAY TO WRECK A SUNDAY!
One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. Romans 14:5-6
The same legalistic churches and groups that had rules about dancing, card playing, and movies during my childhood also had rules about the Sabbath. Sunday was a day for nothing other than total quiet. For a kid, it meant ~‘no fun!’ Other families played games, went swimming in the summer, ice-skating in the winter, and went outside to play ball with their fathers. On Sundays, we brought home company for dinner after church, then sat in our living room and visited for several hours. The guests left middle of the afternoon and then everyone went to bed for long naps. Gee, couldn’t wait for Sundays! And what did my sister and I do while our parents visited with company in the living room? Sat on the floor of the hall and rolled a ball back and forth. Are we having fun yet?
Should there be a Sabbath day? Yes, but the Pharisees held on to the ritual of the Sabbath, and all its rules, to such an extent that it led to harmful legalism. This was a huge point of contention between the Jewish leaders and Jesus. Neither he, nor his disciples, held to strict ideas of how the Sabbath should be kept. They were criticized for their unorthodox behavior. The Pharisees hated Jesus for challenging them on this topic, something they considered sacred. Jesus said, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.” Mark 2:27
Our family believes that one day should be set apart as a day that is different from the other six. It is God’s day. We anticipate the power of our encounter with God – even Saturday night – and begin praying that He will speak to us on Sunday. Sunday is a day for our family to eat together, play games, go the lake and enjoy God’s creation, and most of the time, sit on the back porch and swing with our grandchildren. No rules. Just joy because it’s God’s day.
As for the enforced naps of my childhood? I wouldn’t mind one now but I won’t do it on Sunday while the rest of my family twiddles their thumbs in the next room wishing I’d wake up so we could have some real fun. As for rolling the ball down the hall for entertainment? No one beyond the age of a two should be asked to consider that!
My Father in heaven knows that I love the Sabbath. He’s redeemed it because He replaced the rules with the joy of relationship. I love the fellowship with believers, the worship of our congregation, the intimacy of our Sunday School class, the way He speaks through an anointed time of teaching, and the priceless afternoons with our family. Not to mention the benefits of soul rest on the rest of my week.
When I was rigid about the Sabbath, I was rigid about most everything. Thank you for delivering me from pointless rules. Enjoying You is my Sabbath. Amen