A different day - Hope 103.2

A different day

By David ReayFriday 27 Nov 2015LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read Exodus 20:8-11

8 Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 You have six days each week for your ordinary work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God. On that day no one in your household may do any work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, and any foreigners living among you. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy. (NLT)

There is a story doing the rounds of a Christian golfer who decided for once in his life to play golf rather than attend church. He figured he could get away with it as long as he kept it a secret. He couldn’t believe it when he scored a hole in one on the final hole. He exclaimed to God, “Well, it sure didn’t hurt me to play golf on a Sunday.” God replied, “Sure, you got a hole in one. But who are you going to tell?”

Such are the fears and uncertainty surrounding this commandment. Some of us, as younger people, were sternly warned not to play sport on Sunday. And even in more recent years, Christians have felt the need to apologise when popping into the shops to buy some milk on the way home from church.

There are legitimate issues of detail to discuss and legitimate debate on how relevant the command is today. But perhaps we can distil the essence of it by seeing it performing two functions. One is that it is a day to remember God. Most churches gather on Sundays but it doesn’t have to be that day. We need to take time to withdraw from our normal routines to once again focus on God and his work.

The other function is more humanitarian. We are not meant to work constantly. We ourselves need rest. Not gloomy inactivity devoid of fun, but recreation which reminds us we don’t live on bread alone. To twist this command and so make it burdensome is just the opposite of what it is meant to be.

It is an invitation to enter into the rhythms of God himself and find freedom rather than confinement.

David Reay

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