What ever happened to Sunday? Have you ever seen the bumper sticker, usually on a particularly pricey RV that says, “We are spending our children’s inheritance!” ? I have never cared for the concept behind that joke and on the spiritual level even less so.
I fondly remember the walks I once took with my Grandfather, who I called “Cap-Cap” as my four-year old attempt at Captain Detzer came out. He would hold my small hand and we would walk the two blocks to pick up his Sunday paper at the news store in town. It was always such an amazingly quiet morning. Hardly a car passed on the usually busy Main street of our New England town. All the other businesses were closed except for the drugstore/news stand where Cap-Cap bought his Sunday Times. There was a wonderful sense of awe and delight in the quiet pause it gave to life. No one’s affairs were so urgent that they couldn’t be put on a 24 hour hold. That made Sunday such a special time. After church there was always a lunch of pancakes and sausage that Gammy would make us and then a whole afternoon of doing nothing but playing quietly out in the back yard with my cousins.
In the book of Isaiah God talks about the Sabbath. Today I am afraid that even within the church we have lost the concept of Sabbath…
Keep the Sabbath day holy. Don’t pursue your own interests on that day, but enjoy the Sabbath and speak of it with delight as the Lord’s holy day. Isaiah 58:13
When God finished creating the world He paused, delighted in it and then He blessed that special day. Last of all God set aside the Sabbath and gave it to us as our inheritance. In most states in the U.S. we have a chain called 7/11. The store was so named because it had the amazing concept of being open for the extended hours of 7 AM to 11 PM. But, today the stores are open 24/7 and 365 days per year. The joke is that since it is always open, why do they have locks on the door?
The 23rd Psalm has in its verses the core of why God gave us a special day to remember to rest, “He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul.” In fact the Sabbath is God’s picture of His grace. Hebrews 4:10 For all who have entered into God’s rest have rested from their labors, just as God did after creating the world.
God didn’t rest on the seventh day because He was tired! God rested because He was finished. He paused and looked over everything. God took the day to enjoy everything. Then God rested. The world’s way of thinking is all about work – work – work, but God’s grace is all about pause, delight, and rest. Our lives need that moment when like the dove that Noah sent out from the ark, we find a place to rest and when we do we will be able to carry in our hearts the Olive branch of God’s amazing and wonderful peace! As Christians it is a precious part of our inheritance that we have the great privilege of passing on to our children. We need to be careful that we haven’t spent the treasure of God’s Holy day on ourselves. This inheritance from God is something rare and in danger of being abandoned and forgotten. In all our busyness God has a plan for rest and refreshment. When we finish the course God has laid out for our lives will our children and grandchildren have special memories that we have passed on to them?
Isaiah 58:14 Then the Lord will be your delight.
I will give you great honor
and satisfy you with the inheritance I promised to your ancestor Jacob.
I, the Lord, have spoken!”