In our previous post, we saw that Sabbath meant rest and we looked at a number of verses that talked about when various Christian in the Bible met. Jews traditionally maintained their Saturday Sabbath whereas the Gentile or Greek believers met on Sunday which they considered the Lord’s Day because that was the day he overcame death. If you missed this post, click here to check it out.
Today we are going to continue with this Sabbath theme and discuss what we should do on the Sabbath. (Don’t worry, it won’t be all that painful)
First, Cease from Working
Since the word Sabbath means rest, it is a day when we should rest from our everyday work. since the old testament law is a teacher and a foreshadow of what Christ has for us, we can look at when God first instructed the Jews in honoring their Sabbath. He had taken the Israelites out of Egypt and started feeling them manna. Every day they were supposed to gather their portion of manna and eat it. The only exception was the Friday before the Sabbath Day when they were told to pick up enough for that day too because there would not be any manna to pick up that day. After the Israelites settled, they were to continue the tradition of not gathering or preparing food on the Sabbath. Everyone was to rest from their labors.
What does that mean for us today? Well, if we are to continue resting from work on the Sabbath, I would think that we should also assist others in being able to rest on our Sabbath as well. As much as we are able that its. I think that we should be sensitive to those people who work in food services on our Sabbath. Granted, our Sabbath may not be their Sabbath, but I think that we need to show consideration to those who are allowing us to rest from working, cooking, and serving on our day of rest. I think that one of the worst things that we can do in our Christian walk is to mistreat those who serve us in restaurants. Both my own personal experience in the past as a cook and waitress who had to work on Sundays (my chosen Sabbath) and those I have known in food services all agree that some of the meanest spirited, demanding people who we have had to serve were people who had just come into the restaurant from a church service. And tip? I got far better tips from motorcyclist groups. Not only that, but they often treated me as though I were a heathen because I worked on Sunday. I cannot tell you how many tracts I got in leau of gratuity. When I have brought this to the attention of other Christians, I have been given the excuse that sometimes they just didn’t have the money to leave a decent tip. My response to that is that if they cannot afford to leave a tip, then perhaps they should have gone out for fast food (where no gratuity was expected)rather than to a sit down meal.
Second, Celebrate What God Has Done
The word Sabbath not only includes the concept of resting from work, but it also denotes the idea of celebration. Because God rested on the seventh day after all of his creation, the Israelites celebrated and praised God for his creation. As Christians, we too can do this. This time of year I find it especially easy to worship God through his creation. Everything is coming to life and the colors are so vivid after the drabness of winter. We have so much to be grateful for. We have been given so much. Our gratitude and praise is what God is looking for from us as we rest from toil and focus our attention on him.
In addition to worshiping God for his creation, we Christians also have Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. We also have the gift of His Spirit living inside of us, our helper, our counselor. We can also celebrate everything that his work on the cross gave to us. In addition to salvation to an eternity with Christ, as believers, he offers us healing in spirit mind, and body..
Third, Gather Together
One of the biggest arguments that I have heard from others about why they don’t go to church is that they can worship God wherever they are. Although that is true, God is available everywhere, I cannot recall anywhere in the Old or New testament where anyone thought that worshiping alone was what they were supposed to do on a regular basis. At first, the goal was to go to the Temple in Jerusalem for as many major days as possible. when the temple was not available, Jews built synagogues in the cities where they lived. Christians throughout the Bible also gathered together even at the risk of persecution or even death, they gathered together to worship God.
We also get together to pray. As the word says, where two or more agree as touching anything,, God will do whatever they ask. That’s some pretty powerful stuff when you think about the idea that one will put a thousand to flight and two ten thousand. Imagine what prayer could do if a whole church filled with people believed what God promised!
When we cease from our labors and gather together in prayer and to praise of God for all that he has done for us, the Sabbath becomes a day of true celebration. At least one day in seven becomes a day of celebration. Joy begins to radiate in our lives to the point that we are gracious to all those we mean, even those who serve us.
Donna Brown is pastor at Faith in God Church 1 1/2 miles south of Brandsville, Missouri on Hwy 63. Sunday services are at 10 am and Wednesday night Bible Study at 6:30 pm. As Author Cygnet Brown, she has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener
She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga