A few Sundays ago, I had to go to Kroger, a grocery store that’s about two miles from our house. I chose to go at lunchtime. When I arrived, there were no shopping carts available. I had to wait for somebody to return one. This had never happened to me before.
After purchasing a few items, I went to the checkout to pay. I asked the man there if it was always this full on Sunday at lunchtime. He said yes, that most of their customers at this particular time of day had just gone to church and were now doing their shopping.
I remarked on how, when I was growing up, nothing was open on a Sunday. He looked at me as if I was really old! We’ve come a long way in the last 50 years. Now church-goers routinely do their weekly grocery shopping on the way home from church, something that would have been unthinkable two generations ago.
One has to question the priorities Christians have.
I’m sure God does. When people, even Christians, have so little time for Him, why should He have time for them? The root word for Sabbath means “to rest, to cease from labor.” Jesus Christ said: “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27 Mark 2:27And he said to them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:
American King James Version×). In other words, a 24-hour period of rest from work and from “doing our own pleasure” (Isaiah 58:13 Isaiah 58:13If you turn away your foot from the sabbath, from doing your pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honorable; and shall honor him, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words:
American King James Version×) is for our own good.
Today, most people are stressed out most of the time. The need for a day of rest has never been greater, yet many don’t have one. And if they do, other members of their family may not, so it’s become very difficult to get families together to build the bonds necessary for any society to thrive.
Instead, people are constantly working in one way or another, always trying to make a few dollars more or to have more fun. We live in a society where God is not taken seriously. One hour a week in church, followed by the pursuit of secular pleasures is not what He intended.
Jesus Christ kept the Sabbath and attended the service every Saturday (Luke 4:16 Luke 4:16And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.
American King James Version×). Christians are to be like Him. We should do the same. It’s one of the Ten Commandments: “Remember the Sabbath, to keep it holy” (Exodus 20:8 Exodus 20:8Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
American King James Version×).
Previous generations in North America, Britain, Australia and elsewhere were very strict about Sabbath observance. The irony is that the biblical Sabbath commanded here in the Ten Commandments was not Sunday. Rather it was the seventh day: to be exact, Friday sunset to Saturday sunset.
People need a day of rest, the Sabbath. Instead, we have a society where everybody is worn out, with consequent serious damage to family life and relationships. It’s never too late to change and to start keeping the Sabbath as God intended.