Keep the Sabbath day holy. Don’t pursue your own interests on that day but call the Sabbath a delight and the holy day of the Lord honorable; honor the Sabbath in everything you do on that day, and don’t follow your on desires or talk idly (Isaiah 58:13)
Growing up, my family belonged to a particularly conservative branch of my denomination. One of the things that was instilled in me from early on was the sacredness of the Sabbath day—Saturday.
Unfortunately, however, in my infantile brain it became the “Don’t do” day.
For years and years the Sabbath was pretty much this: Go to church in your best dress. Greet people. Sing, pray, and listen to sermon. Return home, have lunch with family. In the afternoon, make sure you don’t watch TV or movies, because those are things you don’t do in the Sabbath. Also, in the Sabbath you don’t play sports in the park, you can take a walk or sit in a picnic blanket—or better yet, hand out fliers. In the Sabbath day you don’t listen to secular music, you don’t wear pants, you don’t cook or wash dishes, and you don’t go out to restaurants. In the Sabbath you don’t swim—even if you are in vacation in Cancun. It is, however, acceptable to take a small nap before returning to church for vespers.
What went wrong? Isn’t the Sabbath supposed to be a delight, and a blessing, and made just for us (Mark 2:27)?
Since then, my religion, my beliefs about the Sabbath, and everything else in my life is based on my relationship with God. That has become key. It is no longer based on what my parents and conservative church taught me….I mean, I’m on my computer right now, and I’m posting this online on the Sabbath! Obviously, some things have changed, but it is still a Holy day, consecrated to the Lord, to do his work and be closer to him, but so should every day in the week be.
This new year, the one thing that will dictate what I can and cannot do at any day will be this: I’m walking in the presence of my God and my Father, who is awesome and holy. My prayer when I feel tempted to do anything that will not honor him any day be: Lord, may I maintain my thoughts, the song in my head, the words I write, and the things I do, in you. May I not stray away from your will, but weep walking in Your presence, ever conscious that you’re near.