Reflections on the Sabbath

I was talking recently with someone about the Sabbath. It was part of a larger conversation about God and church. Afterwards I reflected on the Sabbath and I thought I would share some thoughts on my blog today.

1. The Sabbath was made for man – The Pharisees accused Jesus of breaking the Sabbath several times by performing miracles and His followers picking grain. Jesus’ response was the Sabbath was made for man (Mark 2:27). It was never meant to be a hard and fast rule that was burdensome.

2. A rest day is important – All of us need a rest day. We were never made to go full steam ahead seven days a week on an endless cycle. We need time to stop, relax, rest and focus on God. I know from experience I need this Sabbath day rest for my physical, mental and spiritual health. After all, even God rested on the 7th day!

3. Early Christians chose Sunday – Some will say that Christians should celebrate the Sabbath on Saturday only, while others think it should be Sunday. The Jews celebrated on Saturday. However, the early church wanted to distinguish themselves, so they chose Sunday to line up with the day Jesus rose from the dead.

4. The Sabbath is hard for Pastors – Following the Sabbath can be hard for Pastors. Sunday is a work day for Pastors, so generally they have to chose another day. For me I chose Tuesday when I was a Pastor. This is because Monday was often a follow up day. On Tuesdays I would rest, pray, hit some golf balls, and spend time with family. I would not answer my phone or emails.

5. We should not judge – Regardless of when we chose to follow the Sabbath we should not judge. We should not think we are better or worse because of when we celebrate the Sabbath. Colossians 2:16 reminds us that we should not let anyone condemn us for the things we do or do not celebrate.

6. Why do I celebrate Sunday? – As I generally work during Monday to Friday, Saturday is my time for family and work around the house. Also the churches I have attended meet on Sunday and I exercise six days a week from Monday to Saturday. So Sunday fits well. After all of the above I am ready to stop, rest and focus on God!

Ultimately we need to remember that the Sabbath is important for us to rest and remember God. It is just so vital to keep mentally, physically and spiritually well. Personally I try to find Sabbath rest in the midst of each day.

Rest, peace and blessings to you,

Dave