Keep holy the Sabbath. We all know that. And yet … the stores are all open, the restaurants are booming, the kids have soccer tournaments and basketball games …
The LORD said to Moses: You must also tell the Israelites: Keep my sabbaths, for that is to be the sign between you and me throughout the generations, to show that it is I, the LORD, who make you holy. Therefore, you must keep the sabbath for it is holiness for you. Whoever desecrates it shall be put to death. If anyone does work on that day, that person must be cut off from the people. Six days there are for doing work, but the seventh day is the sabbath of complete rest, holy to the LORD. Anyone who does work on the sabbath day shall be put to death. So shall the Israelites observe the sabbath, keeping it throughout their generations as an everlasting covenant. Between me and the Israelites it is to be an everlasting sign; for in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, but on the seventh day he rested at his ease.
I remember when businesses were closed on Sundays. I love that Chik-Fil-A and Hobby Lobby still are. When did it become ok for the rest of us?
I have used plenty of justifications over the years as to why it is ok. But none of them make sense. (Doesn’t a seventh day of rest sound wonderful?) Particularly as I read this passage: “that is to be the sign between you and me throughout the generations, to show that it is I, the LORD, who make you holy.” It is not that we have forgotten to keep holy the Sabbath — it is that we have forgotten to remember that it is the Lord who makes us holy. We can do more for ourselves on Sunday: make more money, play more games, take charge of our lives. And at the same time, forget that we don’t need to do it all on our own — it is the Lord who makes us holy.
Forgive me for working on Sunday. Unfortunately I will need to ask for your forgiveness again tomorrow. Help me to remember that you make us holy — help me to let go and let you make me holy! Thank you for giving us a day of rest.