First, glad that several have signed up! Thank you for your encouragement in this journey. I plan on at least having one more post after this one before the year is over.
For whatever reason recently (last several months or so) I have had some interesting conversations about what it means to keep the 'Sabbath.' Now as many know I am a Seventh-day Adventist Christian therefore my 'Sabbath' is on Saturday. Obviously the majority of Evangelicals observe their 'Sabbath' on Sunday. This post though is not about me proving which is the correct biblical time to observe the 'Sabbath' but how we should keep the 'Sabbath' regardless what day you observe (we'll talk about the day issue in another post!).
The Bible obviously has much to say about the Sabbath (just a few places to consider: Ex. 20:8-11/Isa. 56/Eze. 20) and I would venture to say most Christians (who actually read the Bible) will at least agree that God does call us to take a 'Sabbath.' Yet even within Adventism (my denomination:-) I have found great differences on how people keep the 'Sabbath.' Of course we don't want to make a list of does and don'ts and be a Pharisee. But allow me to give a quick illustration.
One point that many agree on is that on Sabbath we shouldn't work, of course in this sinful world that we live in, there are certain people that we all want them to work to some degree such as health professionals, other hospital workers, police officers (unless you get a ticket:-) fire fighters, and perhaps you could name others. Overall though we (Adventist) call people not too work (again except for those I just mentioned). Yet at times I find some inconsistencies in some areas of Sabbath keeping. For example my conference recently had a special Celebration Sabbath at a convention center in which several hundred attended. Food was provided for all at the convention center for several reasons, one perhpas would be so that folks wouldn't have to go and buy their food (on the Sabbath). Yet we were paying the workers at the convention center to help feed Adventist who call others not to work on the Sabbath. Now understand truly I'm not condemning anyone, but simply stating what happened and perhaps we can dialog on the issue.
Growing up I remember the way my family kept the 'Sabbath' at times by taking very long naps, we took the literal meaning of the word 'Sabbath' (rest) to task:-) Now of course I'm not saying that taking a long nap on Sabbath is wrong, but I don't think sleeping the Sabbath away is truly fulfilling it's purpose, unless your sick or something...
Some have said well if you have to work then give the money away to a worthy cause or something. I find this dangerous because then basically anyone (not just the ones previously mentioned) can work on the Sabbath and just donate their money to some worthy cause. Yet the Bible simply says not to work on the Sabbath regardless if you give the money to a worthy cause (again of course for the ones I named above, if my church is on fire I don't want to wait until the Sabbath is over for the firefighters to come:-)
I could give you many more examples and perhaps so can you. During this holiday season when many folks take time to rest (or try to if their house isn't full of people:-) the issue of the 'Sabbath' rest comes to mind. I understand that we may raise more questions than answers but nonetheless I bring it up here with the hopes that together we can help each other go Bathos in Jesus' name, because ultimately the 'Sabbath' is about following Jesus who is Lord of the Sabbath! (Mark 2:27-28)
So what do you think? What are some practical steps we can take to keep the Sabbath the way Jesus would if He were walking the streets today? Are there certain things you totally avoid on the Sabbath? Or, are we simply making to much of this Sabbath issue? Boy I need some rest now...