Keep the Sabbath Holy and Don’t Do Any Work
In my post God Rested, I talked about the Old Testament command to keep the Sabbath holy and not do any work (Exodus 20:8-11). Yet Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament law, so it doesn’t apply anymore (Matthew 5:17).
However, God rested on the seventh day of creation and declared it holy (Genesis 2:2-3). So, what should our Sunday practices be?
Our Conscience and Our Freedom
My parents taught me not to work on Sunday. It’s a Sunday practice that has stayed with me. Even though I no longer believe I must adhere to it with legalistic zeal, I still mostly do.
I let my conscience guide me. Like Paul, I want to keep my conscience clear (Acts 23:1). And later, in Paul’s teaching about food sacrificed to idols, we get a principle about following our consciences (1 Corinthians 8:1-13). That is what I do.
My key guide in my Sunday practices comes from Jesus. He said the Sabbath—which most people now apply to Sunday—was made for us, not the other way around (Mark 2:27).
Sunday Examples to Consider
For my Sunday practices, which I share only for consideration, I treat it as a set apart day. A holy day, if you will. I want it to be different than the other six days of the week. It’s a special day, that I get to experience once a week.
On this set-apart-day, I go to church with family, enjoy time with them afterward, and do things that give me joy. I don’t do any regular work, but I do pursue activities that relax me. These activities give me a Sabbath rest.
I might watch a limited amount of TV, take a short nap, go for a walk, listen to a podcast, or work on a crossword puzzle. I also look for a project to do, that although it may look like work, will fill me with joy and provide a sense of accomplishment, fulfilling a personal need I have.
I especially relish when I can immerse myself in God’s creation and worship him through nature. This is often when we connect at the deepest level.
A friend enjoys a Sunday afternoon of weeding in her garden; it is a holy time that draws her to God. A pastor likes to go fishing after Sunday dinner; it gives him rest and helps prepare him for the week ahead. Though neither of these Sunday practices would work for me, I’m happy it does for them.
Pursue a Sunday Practice
It’s worthwhile for us to consider our creator’s blessing on the seventh day to make it holy, along with his example of rest. Yet it is up to us to figure out the best way to do it as we develop our own Sunday practices.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.