Sundays. I know it is believed to be a day of rest, but as hard as I try, I think it is my busiest day of the week. I’ve been struggling with this, but being the organized person I am, I have to prepare for the life that is going to face me over the next five days of my work week. I try to get lots done of Saturday, and usually this is a very productive day too, but then it seems like basketball, gymnastics and baseball all come pounding on my door of relaxation, and I find myself in a gym all day, instead of in my home where I know I should probably be.
This has been an ongoing issue with me, probably because of the way I was raised. My grandmother was a strong believer in this. She would only go to church on Sunday, and do nothing else. She wouldn’t even let us play board games on this day.
Things have changed greatly since the 1980s, and our society even started opening up stores for shopping on Sunday. I vaguely recall when this all was being passed by our provincial government and the uproar it was causing but now my own children don’t know life any different. They really struggle with understanding why stores are closed on holidays, because all they have ever known is shopping seven days a week.
My husband and I both coach our children in their sports, so you can just imagine how busy our Sunday really is. Are we going to hell because we don’t hold this day as highly as my grandmother once did? Are we going to burn in the fires of eternity, because we let our children play their beloved sports on the day that was to be held for a day of rest? Some people may answer very confidently “yes” to these questions, and you know what? Go right ahead you are entitled your opinion, but I would have to say absolutely not!
While studying the book of Mark, it struck me—and really hard! I was exhausted mentally after reading, meditating on the word and realizing what I was being taught through this scripture.
My lesson started in the second chapter of Mark. I was very drawn to the verse, Mark 2:27, “And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” Wow! Do you understand that? I read it over and over, and I was really intrigued by it, since, it had been a personal struggle of mine since my spiritual journey had begun.
Then I understood. The Sabbath is for the good human beings. We all have the “Sabbath” in us, it’s more than just a day. It is a life style choice. We have to try and take in all the goodness that God has to offer. We have to relax and enjoy life through his word.
I went on to the next chapter, feeling very uplifted from my findings in chapter 2, and was eager to learn more! Then BA-BAM! It was jumping off the page again at me. Mark 3:4 was shouting at me. “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill? But they were silent.”
This was all about the Pharisees watching eagerly to see if Jesus would work on the Sabbath. There was a man in the synagogue with a withered hand, and he asked Jesus for help. In Mark 3:5 it explains, “And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out and his hand was restored.”
These Pharisees may not have been working on Sunday, but they were being evil on Sunday! They were looking to destroy Jesus on a Sunday! What did Jesus do? He was “angered and grieved at their hardness of heart.” He was shaking his head at them, because these, so called great people, were missing the point entirely!
I know there are many people in my city that might not work on Sunday, but sure to bet they are judging me for all the activities I choose to do on this Holy day. I know my grandmother would be. If she was still alive would be shaking her head at me and my busy lifestyle too. But, you know what? Judge me all you want.
I took the time myself to sit and meditate in God’s word, and now understand the Sabbath is more of a state of being than just a day. It is a lifestyle choice. You can be as religious as you want, but if you let evil thoughts and standards seep in, are you really religious? If you are judgmental towards people, are you being the loving being that is the second most important commandment? If you want to carry the, “I’m holier than thou” attitude, go right ahead—rest that evil mind of yours on Sunday.
I might be a very busy person on the Sabbath, but I am also going to have a heart like Jesus, and laugh at the fact that you just don’t get it. Like Jesus felt sorry for these Pharisees who were judging him, because they “were so wrong and stubborn” (NIV), I am going to feel sorry for you. The Sabbath is more than a day for all of us to spread the love of God and enjoy learning and being with him in spirit. It’s a way of life. Use every day; Monday; Tuesday; Wednesday; Thursday; Friday even Saturday as the Sabbath and spread the love of God today!