Monday, April 12, 2010

Keeping the Lord's Day

“If you turn back your foot from the Sabbath,
from doing your pleasure on my holy day,
and call the Sabbath a delight
and the holy day of the Lord honorable;
if you honor it, not going your own ways,
or seeking your own pleasure, or talking idly;
then you shall take delight in the Lord,
and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth;
I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father,
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”-Isaiah 58:13-14

When the Lord led us away from the Southern Baptist denomination (where we have many loved and faithful brothers and sisters), one of the areas where our understanding was changing was concerning the Lord's day, or the Christian Sabbath.
It began when Kevin was talking with the kids about the Ten Commandments. He began wondering in his own mind if he really understood and knew how to obey the fourth commandment. Through months of careful study, prayer, and talking with others, he became convinced that this directive from the Lord does still apply to us today (cf. Heb. 4), and so we started the process of trying to figure out how to "remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy." (cf. Exodus 20:8-11) Now, I must take just a minute to clarify by saying that keeping God's law does not make us acceptable to God. We can't keep the law, no matter how hard we try! This is why Christ came: to be our righteousness. (cf. Romans 3:9-19) The law shows us our need for Christ; our sinfulness and inability to be 'good enough' for God's perfect, holy standard. It is ONLY by the saving work of Jesus Christ that we are made acceptable to God, not by any of our 'good works,' which are not really good when they're held up to the standard of God's holiness, anyway...Isaiah 64:6

That said, God's word is also clear about our obedience: If we love God, we obey Him. We do so imperfectly, failing daily, but it is our aim. (John 14:15) Loving God and desiring to obey Him flow out of a heart that is being transformed by the Holy Spirit.

I have to be honest here, and admit that I really resisted Kevin at first. I didn't like this new development. I felt policed and constrained.
What? I can't throw a load of laundry in the washer on Sunday afternoon? I complied, but grudgingly. I was like the little child in the story who was 'sitting down on the outside, but standing up on the inside.' Thankfully, the Lord slowly worked on my rebellious heart. I began to submit to Kevin, and as I did so, I began to actually enjoy the Lord's day! It stopped feeling like a burden, and started feeling like a treat. I was supposed to rest! I could take the time to read a good Christian book or my Bible, without feeling pressured to be occupying myself with housework or bookkeeping or homeschool planning. The truth of Deuteronomy 12:28 was what I was seeing: God's commandments are for our good!

So, this is a very abbreviated account of why we desire to keep the Lord's day holy. Now, I hope to share some really fun ideas with you in future posts! At our presbytery's retreat last week, my dear friend Barb shared all kinds of creative ideas for making the Lord's day special for families and children.

1 comment:

Heather L. said...

Just wanted to say how encouraging it is to know like-minded people. This is definately an area that I often feel alone and wonder why no one else "gets" it. I do find myself enjoying the Sabbath more as the years go on and I really hope that I'll communicate that well to my kids.