Keeping the Sabbath

Sunday was a gorgeous day to be out in creation. God's hand was evident!

Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.  
Exodus 20:8

 November 9
Sabbath means rest.  So as we read the verse above, we remember what the word means. Step two is to do what God intended us to to do...keep that restful day holy.  Make is special!  Make it about more than just resting...make it about resting with God.

One of our daughters is a first year professor at Covenant College.  Recently, she shared how she'd never thought much about her Sundays.  As a doctoral student there was always plenty of catching up with school work to do after church.  That is greatly discouraged at Covenant.  They instruct their faculty and students to refrain from school work on Sundays. The college doesn't even have their athletic facilities open, so that no one has to work or is putting emphasis on themselves.  The emphasis is on encouraging everyone to take time on Sundays to concentrate on resting their bodies, but beyond that keeping their focus on their holy God.

For years I've had tried to institute the restful part. Looking all the way back to my childhood, my parents emphasized going to church, sharing a nice meal and then they locked their bedroom door for a two hour nap!  When our children were younger, sporting events took up the weekends, out of town soccer and tennis tournaments and horse shows often ran into Sunday.  We only made it through traveling soccer one year (with children on three different teams) realizing what it was robbing from us. School sports took place on weekdays which helped, but the element missing from our Sabbath all these years has been the intentionality of staying in worship mode and seeking intimacy with God throughout the day.

As we worship Him and meditate on his Word, maybe we will see something new in nature that He has made. The awe His creation brings about can cause us to hear from Him in a way we may have never heard before.  Isn't that beautiful?

Are our Sundays all about an interactive relationship, which has us living with the expectancy of God showing up?

John Piper expresses this thought: "Many professing Christians enjoy sports and television, and secular books and magazines and recreation and hobbies and games far more than they enjoy direct interaction with God and his Word or in worship or in reading Christian books or in meditative strolls.  Therefore, inevitably people whose hearts are set more on the pleasures of the world than on the enjoyment of God will feel the sabbath command as a burden and not a blessing."

Whew, I've got a long way to go to keep my entire sabbath day holy.
Help me align my life to receive the blessing Jesus! In Your name I pray, Amen

Grammatical insight: Some "experts" say Sabbath is a proper noun and should always be capitalized.
Others say you capitalize it when used as a religious reference and keep it in lowercase when it means a period of rest.  As for Exodus 20:8 reference above the NIV capitalizes it and the NASB uses a lowercase letter.