Thursday, November 29, 2007

Do You Know What Day It Is?

One of the key concepts in the movie Chariots of Fire is that of the Sabbath. Eric Liddell, Scotland's finest wing and representative of the U.K. in the 1924 Olympics, had strong convictions about the Sabbath as you will see.

So the Sabbath wasn't a day for playing football (Sorry Mr. Dungy). It also wasn't a day for running Olympic races, even mere qualifying heats. The day was the Lord's and no one else's. End of story. But what does that mean? What is the Sabbath and how are we to keep it? When one reads the Gospels, one may notice that one of the hottest points of contention between Jesus and the religious leaders was that of the Sabbath. The religous leaders had come up with mile-long list of what one could and could not do on the Sabbath. Healing on the Sabbath was a big "no-no" in their eyes. If I remember rightly, the first time we read of the religous leaders plotting to kill Jesus, it is on the heels of Jesus healing a crippled man. As with most things, it seems there are two extremes to avoide; 1) Making too much of it (like the religous leaders), or 2) Making nothing of it at all (as I sometimes have). So what is it? I understand the Sabbath to be...
  • A day of rest and refreshment. (As the Lord took a day of rest after Creation)

  • A holy day (set apart, unlike other days, reserved for sacred purposes)

Is there any limitations as to what one can do for enjoyment? It is not a day merely to catch up on the chores around the house. The Lord had the Israelites do all their food prep for the Sabbath the day before so they wouldn't have to do it on the Sabbath. But what about Mr. Cubical man who can think of nothing more enjoyable than working on the lawn on a Sunday. What if that fills his tank? If I could describe what I'd hope my typical Sabbath to be, it would involve the following...

  • Worship at church

  • Lunch w/ friends and/or family

  • A nice nap with my bride

  • Reading at least a 1/2 hour with each of my kids

  • A long walk at the state park (nice weather) or a good swim at the community center (bad weather)

  • Sunday Sundaes for supper

  • One of our "family night" devotions with our kids

  • Watching a movie with Michele or playing games with friends

What do you think the Sabbath is for? How do you think the Lord would have you keep it? I'd love your feedback.

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