Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Danger of Turning Sunday into Fun-Day

  Whether it is parking ourselves on the couch for hours on end to watch a ball game, checking out the latest bargains are the craft store, playing a few rounds of golf or any number of other leisure activities, for many Sunday has become synonymous with “Fun-Day.”  Of course it is good to take time to have fun and to enjoy ourselves, but not if it is at the expense of the Sabbath Rest that God created us to enjoy.
With the approach of the new football season the ads say “Get ready for Fun-Day.”

Consider this:
  • One day a week for rest is a gift from God to His creation.
  • When God created the heavens and the earth He declared it “good.”  When He created human beings He declared His creation “very good.”  When He created, established and modeled the day of rest, He called it “Holy!”
  • Since our culture has moved from a predominantly 24/6 mentality to a 24/7 mentality, the number of people in the US who struggle with sleep disorders, the depression rates, suicides, divorces have sky rocketed.  Is the lack of a Sabbath Day the sole cause of this, no, but even secular experts agree that it is a serious contributing factor.
We can take any day of the week as a Sabbath Day.  As a Pastor, Sundays don’t really work for me as the best day of rest, so I take Friday.

Scripture does not prescribe for us what a day of rest ought to look like, but we do get some principles. If we are to be careful that the purpose of a day of rest doesn’t get lost in leisure activities we have to understand what the God given purpose of it is.

1.      It is a day of rest from the fast pace of the week.

2.      It is a day to reflect on God and His creation.

3.      It is a day to reflect on the week’s activities. (Think about the things you have accomplished and give thanks to God.  Think about the things that you have yet to do or that seem overwhelming and entrust them to God)

4.      It is a day to worship and express thanks.

5.      It is a day to do good to our neighbors.

For believers, Sunday is a great day for this (although not the only day) because we get to begin the day together with others in corporate worship and allow that to set the tone for the rest of the day.  That doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy an occasional football game on a Sunday afternoon, but when we crowd out reflection, worship and thanksgiving we are not truly resting as God created us to rest.

When we guard a weekly Sabbath we will experience a greater sense of joy, peace and freedom because it is a time to gain perspective.  We are able to stop and see God’s faithfulness in our week that has past and also to see the burdens and struggles for what they really are.  The things that stress us out and cause us anxiety take their proper size when placed next to Almighty God. 

Sabbath keeps the glorious deeds of our Holy God at the center of the Set-apart person’s life.  So Practice it!  When you do you’ll begin to learn that rest is a gift, it is refreshing, it is freeing and yes it is fun!