Sabbath – Do You Keep It?

Lots of things in the Bible challenge me about the way I live. Even outside of The Modern Monk Project – simply as a Christian – there should be a daily reflection on the scriptures in which I take a deep and sincere look at my life in relation to what I have read. But nothing – NOTHING – challenges me more at the moment than the notion of Sabbath.

Take a look at this video in which committed Christian and Columbia Pictures VP, DeVon Franklin, talks to Oprah Winfrey about his commitment to Sabbath as a Christian. Put aside for a moment any differences you might have about the day (Franklin is a Seventh-Day Adventist) and listen to how his commitment to his walk with Jesus takes priority in his life.

DeVon Franklin talks to Oprah about Sabbath

There are probably 101 or more reasonable reasons NOT to keep a Sabbath in the way Franklin describes. But I argue that not a single one of them will be a good one.

Sabbath is not just about rest; it is also about restoration. It is about giving control of our life back to God. On one day in a week, can we put aside our need to create – wealth, growth, ideas, etc – and just be, giving control of the creating back to God for just one day?

If we can’t there is something wrong.

Our modern world doesn’t want us to stop. And, we might argue, if we do and the world keeps going, we’ll get behind, right? In Toowoomba, Qld, the airport shuttle service shuts down from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday. On arguably the busiest time in a week (business people returning from weeks away in their jobs on a Friday night) this company run by committed Christians shuts to observe Sabbath. They don’t even get other staff to keep it going – everyone gets the day off.

But their business doesn’t falter and runs strong. That said, even if it didn’t, I suspect these people would not care! Their commitment to God and a day committed to Him is more important and they have chosen, even in the face of economic irrationality, to keep the Sabbath.

And before you try and argue on “law” taking control of these people’s lives, dare I encourage you to seriously consider the root of that argument – whether it’s really about your resistance to Sabbath.

That’s where Franklin’s last two thoughts in that video are mighty powerful, especially the second one. Here they are again:
1. If I embrace who I am, it will open doors, not shut them.
2. If your faith won’t fit in the door that opens, then I argue do not walk through that door. The door that God opens for you will fit your faith.

Go back and study the Sabbath laws and why God gave them to us. And then think carefully about your life. Does your faith fit in the lifestyle you lead? Perhaps rather than dropping bits of my faith that don’t fit my lifestyle, I should be dropping bits of my lifestyle that don’t fit my faith.

What are your arguments (generally or to yourself) about Sabbath keeping?

Cheers and Peace,

Br Mark G
~ aka The Modern Monk

Related posts:

  1. The Modern Monk Resolutions Post 2012!
  2. Viva La Resolution! A lesson in grace.
  3. The Grinch Who Stole New Years
  4. A thought for today from Rabbi Jonathon Sacks
  5. Reflecting on the Resolutions – How did The Modern Monk go in 2011?

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6 Responses to “Sabbath – Do You Keep It? on “Sabbath – Do You Keep It?”

  • A big ‘ol amen to that. This is something that God is actually speaking very loudly to me about right now, and the core issue is trust…do I trust God enough to stop what I am doing & do what He is doing? Thanks for the post Mark :)

  • Trust seems like a key word here, Lauren. A biggie for many people would be, “Do I trust God to supply my need if I stop for a day?” This was a major part of the deal with Israel. I guess another would be, “Do I trust God’s Kingdom and purpose enough to look and be different from the world for a 24hr period?” Probably a number of “trust” questions here if you reflect on it long enough. Love your thoughts here…

  • isn’t it interesting that the first part of hebrews 4 indicates that at least one major purpose of the sabbath was to teach us to rest from our ‘work’ (of salvation) to rest in his work for us (grace) – and yet so many of us see keeping the sabbath as being into ‘works’ and not faith. it doesn’t make sense not ‘rest’ in His salvation every week… just like he asked us to. great thoughts mark.

  • We tend to violate the Sabbath commandment for the same reason we violate most other commands The Lord gives us – You shall have no other gods before Me and shall not make a graven image or idol.

    Our western culture seems to be making distractions and idols out of everything – the core however is whether we make an idol of ourselves by putting us or what we do as of more importance than the commands of Christ.

  • So true, Jerry. The whole idea that keeping something that God intended for good is bad to do seems a weird argument. Funny – I don’t think many people – especially pastors – who think that would argue against tithing…! ;o)

  • Mal, I love this point. We violate #2-10 because we can’t keep #1; and the “other god” is ourselves!

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